Plants have evolved mechanisms that allow then to adapt to changing environmental conditions. These changes are detected by receptors that activate the intracellular machinery responsible for the elicitation of the appropriate intracellular response. This process is known as stimulus-response coupling (or intracellular signalling). Of central are Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). When a cell reacts to an external stimulus the concentration of the ROS inside the cell increases. This acts as an intermediate in the generation of the final response. The ubiquity of ROS as intermediaries involved in the responses to a plethora of different stimuli raises an important question and this is; how can the increase in ROS elicit specific responses? The objective of this studentship is to provide answers to this question using Arabidopsis stomatal guard cells as a model. The stomatal pore is surrounded by two guard cells. When these shrink the pore closes whereas swelling results in opening. In guard cells stimuli that bring about swelling (opening) or closure (shrinking) both use intracellular signalling pathways that involve an increase in ROS. We have developed new technology that will allow an unprecedented understanding of ROS dynamics in single cells. Our hypothesis, is that different stimuli generate unique patterns of ROS inside cells. The student will use this new technology to test this hypothesis. A full training in plant cell physiology and cell biology will be provided.
Applications are encouraged from well qualified individuals with a strong background in the life sciences and major interests in plant cell biology and cell physiology. The studentship is part of the BBSRC funded South West Biosciences Doctoral Training partnership (SWBio). The student will be primarily based in Bristol. Further details on the application procedure and the (SWBio) can be found by following this link View Website (apply through the University of Bristol)