BBSRC DTP White Rose Studentship - Single cell transcriptomics in plants: how variable is cell iden

Details

In multicellular organisms, individual cells must signal and respond to neighbouring cells and external signals in order to coordinate development. However, even with a single tissue, neighbouring cells of the same identity can be receiving different signals. This may impact on gene expression and their ability to respond to signals. Therefore, how similar are cells of the same identity in multicellular systems? We know very little about how much biological variability exists between individual cells within a single tissue and how this influences their ability to respond to external signals.

This project will answer these questions by performing single cell transcriptomic analyses coupled with computational biology methods. Working in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, you will isolate single cells by FACs sorting and sequence the transcriptomes. This will be followed by an in depth bioinformatics analysis, leading to further work in which imaging techniques will be used to analyse individual cells within leaves. The project will provide in depth training in molecular and computational biological techniques and is an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of cell identity and the significance of biological variability in systems.
 

Funding Notes

4 year BBSRC studentship, under the BBSRC White Rose Mechanistic Biology DTP
https://www.whiterose-mechanisticbiology-dtp.ac.uk/

We welcome applications from students with first degrees in Biological, Chemical or Physical Sciences. For successful applicants, the studentships would provide funding for tuition fees and living stipend at the current Research Council UK rates (subject to eligibility) for 4 years. Please note that EU citizens must have lived in the UK for at least 3 years to be eligible for full support.

Applicants should have or expect to achieve an undergraduate honours degree at 2.1 or higher in a relevant field

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mbb/postgraduate/phd/projects_fully_funded

 

References

Casson SA, Hetherington AM. (2014) phytochrome B Is required for light-mediated systemic control of stomatal development. Curr Biol. 24:1216-21.

Pantin F, Renaud J, Barbier F, Vavasseur A, Le Thiec D, Rose C, Bariac T, Casson S, McLachlan DH, Hetherington AM, Muller B, Simonneau T. (2013) Developmental priming of stomatal sensitivity to abscisic acid by leaf microclimate.
Curr Biol. 23:1805-11.

Rajan P*, Sudbery IM*, Villasevil ME, Mui E, Fleming J, Davis M, Ahmad I, Edwards J, Sansom OJ, Sims D, Ponting CP, Heger A, McMenemin RM, Pedley ID, Leung HY. (2014) Next-generation sequencing of advanced prostate cancer treated with androgen-deprivation therapy. Eur Urol. 66:32-9

Smith, T., Heger, A., and Sudbery, I.. “UMI-tools: modeling sequencing errors in Unique Molecular Identifiers to improve quantification accuracy”. Genome Res. 2017 27, 491–499.