Characterising genes involved in microRNA turnover in Arabidopsis (DALMAY_U18DTP)

University of East Anglia
October 04 2017
Life Sciences, Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules regulating the expression of protein coding genes by targeting mRNAs. Since they play key roles in development and in responses to both biotic and abiotic stresses, it is important that miRNAs are expressed at the right time and place. Therefore there must be a mechanism to degrade miRNAs (miRNA turnover) and this mechanism itself must be carefully regulated to ensure that miRNAs are not present when their function is not required. However, we know very little about this mechanism and its regulation. The successful candidate will join a team carrying out a mutant screen to identify genes involved in miRNA turnover. The screening assay relies on a GFP sensor, which is targeted by a miRNA. Expression of the miRNA is induced by germinating seeds on a special media. After changing the media the miRNA transcription is switched off and the existing miRNA molecules are degraded, leading to green fluorescence recovery in the seedlings. The successful candidate will screen for lines exhibiting faster or slower GFP recovery. After validation of the mutant phenotype the student will identify the mutant genes by next generation sequencing. Identifying genes involved in miRNA turnover will open up a new field in the RNA silencing area. Understanding the function of those genes and how miRNA turnover is regulated will impact on all aspect of plant biology but also on biomedicine as siRNAs are potential therapeutics. The student will be part of a vibrant and dynamic research group including wet lab researchers and bioinformaticians.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding notes

Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa - 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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