Post-translational modifications orchestrate organ symmetry


A major challenge during morphogenesis includes the establishment of symmetry types, such as radial and bilateral symmetry: a developmental commitment which greatly impacts on organ function. In humans, defects in organ-symmetry establishment leads to malformation and diseases, but despite its importance, our knowledge about symmetry foundation in multicellular organisms is very limited. Less intuitively, organ symmetry establishment is fundamental for plant survival too.

Therefore, the aim of this project is to shed light on a new mechanism regulating radial and bilateral symmetry establishment during plant organogenesis, using A.thaliana as a model. You will  investigate how a specific post-translational modifications underpins direct protein interactions between key regulators of plant organ symmetry, which in turn switches on and off gene  expression, precisely and quickly, during organ development.

The research programme will provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills and expertise to work at the cutting edge of biological science. Examples include several microscopy  techniques (optical, confocal and electron microscopes) as well as proteomics, genetics, and molecular experiments, all of which will greatly enhance your research portfolio.

You will be based in the Department of Crop Genetics under Dr Moubayidin’s direct supervision in a highly stimulating environment. Moreover, you will be inducted into the existing JIC post-graduate training and mentoring programme, where you will receive a range of scientific training suited to the programme of work. Also, you will benefit from attending relevant national and international conferences and outreach events to communicate your results and networking within the wider academic community.