22nd Oct 2012

Project: Going for growth: identifying targets of a ubiquitin signaling cascade and defining their roles in controlling organ and seed size in Arabidopsis.

Supervisor: Prof Mike Bevan (

One of the most characteristic features of plants is their size, which can vary hugely between species, but is genetically controlled within a tight range within a species. Very little is known about how the final size of organs such as leaves, petals and seeds is controlled, despite its fundamental biological interest and its practical importance in governing crop plant yield. We have identified a set of genes involved in a ubiquitin-mediated signaling cascade that balances cell proliferation and differentiation during organ formation. The research in this studentship aims to characterize some of the targets of this signaling cascade and determine how they influence growth. There will be opportunities to conduct this research using advanced bio-imaging methods and modeling to understand how cell proliferation influences growth, and advanced proteomics to identify other targets of DA1 peptidase activity.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) – a collaboration between the Norwich Biosciences Institutes and the University of East Anglia. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the Studentship Competition. The interview dates will be the 10th and 11th January 2012.

In keeping with the postgraduate training policy of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) all students recruited onto this programme will be required to undertake a three months internship during the second or third year of their study. The internship will offer exciting and invaluable experience of work in an area outside of research, and full support and advice will be provided by a professional team from the UEA.

The 4-year BBSRC DTP studentship offers full funding to UK nationals and EU nationals who have resided in the UK (in full-time education or full-time residency) for 3 years prior to the start date of the studentship. In most other cases EU nationals will receive funding to cover their tuition-fees only. The current stipend for 2012/13 is £13,590 per annum.

See BBSRC eligibility:

For further information and to apply, please visit the 'How to Apply' page on our website: