Technician post available!

The post-holder will perform research as part of the Jones lab within the Plant Science Group. This will include completing experiments, recording data, overseeing day-to-day laboratory operations, as well as developing methods and specialist in-house equipment (with support from other members of the Jones lab). This is a 0.5FTE post.

Please contact me for further information.

Funded PhD Studentship Available!

How does PAP, a stress-induced metabolite, regulate gene expression?

Plants are commonly exposed to environmental fluctuations (such as extremes in temperature or insufficient water) which are sufficient to limit crop yield in both field-grown and glasshouse-grown contexts. Damage induced by such stresses is typically first observed within the chloroplast and mitochondria, where perturbations in metabolism rapidly induce oxidative stress. These perturbations are communicated from organelles to the nucleus via multiple retrograde signaling pathways that alter nuclear gene expression, allowing plants to adjust their metabolism and development to tolerate environmental stress. However, the extent to which retrograde signals can regulate plant homeostasis, and by what mechanism(s), remain enigmatic.

Many abiotic and biotic are predominantly associated with specific times of day, driving the evolution of biological timing mechanisms that enable anticipation of biotic and abiotic stresses associated with either day or night. These biological timers (commonly referred to as the circadian system) have subsequently been co-opted to modulate many physiological processes including growth, photosynthesis, and flowering time. In addition to providing an endogenous timing reference, seasonal changes in daylength require that the circadian system is synchronized with environmental factors such as dusk and dawn. This induces a complex interplay between environmental signals, endogenous biological timers, and metabolic changes induced by sub-optimal environmental conditions. If we are to fully exploit the potential yield of crops it is vital that we understand how plants interact with their environment during daily environmental fluctuations.

As part of our efforts to understand these interactions we have demonstrated that a signaling metabolite induced by drought is sufficient to delay the circadian system (Litthauer et al., 2018). Such data demonstrates how changes in metabolism arising from the application of stress can induce changes in gene expression, ultimately altering plant behavior.

The successful applicant will utilize genetic resources available in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to decipher the mechanism that links light and drought stress with the circadian system using a combination of biochemical, genetic, and bioimaging approaches.

Please apply here or contact me for further information. The advert can also be found on FindAPhD .

Postgraduate Research Opportunities

We're always happy to hear from students wanting to investigate the interactions between the circadian clock and the environment.

Please contact me to if you want to pursue your interests by completing an MSD.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

At Glasgow we're developing synthetic light switches to allow genes to be activated by specific wavelengths of light. Come help us design, construct and test these switches in E. coli before we integrate them into more complicated systems!

For more information and for details of how to apply please Contact Me for further information.