We are currently advertising National Productivity Investment Fund Industrial CASE studentships with a deadline of the 16th July 2018.

02 / 10 / 2017

Is circadian function an important trait for wheat breeders? (HALL_E18DTP)

how to apply

Arguably the biggest environmental challenge life must adapt to is the daily light-dark cycle. To measure, predict and adapt to these changes organisms have independently evolved an internal molecular timer; the circadian clock. Fundamental work has described the molecular components forming the timing mechanism in the model plant Arabidopsis. Our research has also described the important role the clock has in optimising plant performance [Dodd et al. 2005]. This PhD project fits within a program aiming to understand the role and function of the clock in wheat. This is fundamentally interesting as it allows us to address the question of how a complex regulatory network functions in a polyploid species. The clock has inadvertently been an important target during domestication in many crop and animal species, but it is still unclear why. Finally, the clock affects important agricultural traits, so can it be exploited further to improve yield and yield stability? This is a unique opportunity to investigate fundamental biological questions, while addressing real world problems. The student will develop a broad range of skills critical for the modern biologist, which in the long term will help improve wheat yield and feed the world.

Dodd, A. N., Salathia, N., Hall, A., Kévei, E., Tóth, R., Nagy, F., et al. (2005). Plant circadian clocks increase photosynthesis, growth, survival, and competitive advantage. Science (New York, NY), 309(5734), 630–633.