Plants are sessile organisms whose growth and development rely on finely-tuned signaling mediated by plant hormones (phytohormones). It is crucial for plants to tightly regulate synthesis and distribution of phytohormones throughout their lifespan. However, little is known about how phytohormones move across membranes and what role phytohormone transport plays in regulating plant development and responses to the changing environment.
Our aim is to increase our understanding of phytohormone signaling by identifying and characterizing phytohormone transporters. We used Xenopus oocytes as an expression system to screen a large library (>500 genes) of Arabidopsis transporters for activity towards phytohormones. We identified a number of completely new phytohormone transporters. We are very excited to offer masters projects on characterizing these new genes.
Expectations: We expect you to be enthusiastic, ambitious, hard working, dedicated and eager to learn and advance your skills in many disciplines within research and in oral and written presentations.
Who we are;Transport group of Associate Professor Hussam H. Nour-Eldin in the National Research Centre of Excellence, DynaMo (https://dynamo.ku.dk/), Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
We provide a stimulating, international research environment where you have lots of opportunity to advance your skills. Our research lab has a strong international research profile with a recent record of high impact publications. We are currently focusing on elucidating the physiological role of phytohormone transporters, the transport mechanism of the NPF family and generating new transport engineering solutions for synthetic biology.
Methods used:The project is multidisciplinary and will depending on your interest focus on characterization of one or two of the new transporter candidates to elucidate their role in planta. In our work we use molecular cloning, bioinformatics, database mining, heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes, in vitro transcription, metabolite profiling via LCMS, two-electrode-voltage clamp electrophysiology, bioimaging, loss- and gain of function mutants, growth- and bioassays, phytohormone sensor lines, RT-PCR and RNAseq. The project provides a solid foundation for future work in both research labs and biotech industry, as it gives a solid foundation in basic skills used in molecular biology laboratories and an understanding of necessary bioinformatics tools. The Human Science Frontier Program funds the project.
Keywords:Phytohormone transport, Plant development and stress response, Gibberellin, Cytokinin, Abscisic acid