We are currently advertising DTP and CASE studentships for October 2019 start. The deadline for applications is the 26th November 2018.

27 / 09 / 2018

To divide or to respond: the balanced matter of finding the right partner to coordinate morphological plasticity in plants. (MOUBAYIDIN_J19DTP)

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Coordination of organ development and physiology is fundamental for plant survival. Plant organ patterning and function depends on the control of cell division. Hence, regulators of the cell-cycle such as cyclin genes are often targets of regulation by key determinants of organ development and environmental cues. Here, we hypothesised that in plants, members of the P-type family of cyclin (CYCPs) preside over the coordination of organ development and physiology, via regulating development and biological functions in specific contexts. We will test whether, in Arabidopsis thaliana, CYCPs dynamically interact at a protein-protein level with key regulators of organ patterning in distinctive cellular and physiological contexts, activating and deactivating their functions. These CYCPs/key-regulator interactions hold the potential to regulate morphological adaptation and plasticity during physiological responses, including the response of plants to phosphate (P)-starvation. P availability is a major limiting factor for plant development and productivity, thus unlocking the molecular mechanism that underpins its tight regulation will allow strategic improvement of agronomic traits. For this purpose, carrying out the investigation of CYCPs’ roles during organ development and physiological response across plant species (using Marchantia polymorpha and Capsella rubella), will generate translational approaches aimed to improve the yield in crops, like oilseed rape. In conclusion, this project will investigate a pioneering hypothesis that a CYCP-centric module represents a dedicated general mechanism for coordination of organ patterning and physiology, an unprecedented role for cyclin genes that lies beyond the canonical regulation of the cell-cycle.