Plants are constantly faced with biotic (e.g. pathogens and pests) and abiotic (e.g. heat, cold, drought, salt) stresses. Central to stress responses are plant hormones. In addition to classical hormones, such as gibberellic acid, abscisic acid, ethylene or salicylic acid, plant genomes encode a myriad of secreted signalling peptides, which are increasingly being recognized as a new essential class of plant hormones. Yet, the exact functions and mode-of-action for most plant peptides are still unknown.
This PhD project capitalizes on recent published and unpublished results from the Zipfel group that identified novel families of stress-responsive peptides and their corresponding receptors (Rhodes et al., Nature Comm. 2021; Rhodes & Zipfel, unpublished). The major goal of the PhD project is to decipher the functions and mode-of-action of these different peptide-receptor pairs in diverse biological plant processes, such as responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, growth and development. The project will involve a combination of bioinformatics, proteomics, molecular genetics, and a range of biochemical and physiological assays. This project will be conducted under the supervision of Professor Cyril Zipfel and Professor Nick Talbot.
For further information and to apply, please visit the 'How to Apply' page on our website.