Job Description

PhD: The role of natural antisense transcripts in plants
- Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Description: In textbooks, individual genes are often depicted as independent units that consist of a promoter, a coding region and a polyadenylation unit. In reality, however, there is a surprisingly high number of genes that partially overlap with other genes in antisense orientation. Many of these convergently overlapping genes are co-expressed in the same tissue, which implies that expression of one gene may be involved in the regulations of the other (see Jen et al (2005) Natural antisense transcripts with coding capacity in Arabidopsis may have a regulatory role that is not linked to dsRNA degradation. Genome Biology 5/6/6/R51, and Zubko, E and Meyer, P. (2007) A natural antisense transcript of the Petunia hybrida Sho gene suggests a role for an antisense mechanism in cytokinin regulation. The Plant Journal 52: 1131–1139).

We are using a number of such sense-antisense gene pairs to evaluate the molecular effects of antisense gene expression on the sense transcript. Based on expression and processing data, our current working hypothesis is that antisense expression can either regulate transcription rates of sense genes, or can lead to dsRNA formation that affects sense gene processing and transport. Individual sense transcripts are studied in tissue types that differ in the level of antisense transcript activity, or in mutants where expression of the antisense copy has been inhibited by T-DNA insertion. For the sense copy, we predominantly analyse transcript levels, transcript splicing/polyadenylation and transcript transport.

Application Details: This project will be available for UK undergraduates and for students from EU member states. Overseas students from non EU member states need to secure their own funding to cover fees and living expenses.

See the links below for application information.

Contact: Professor Peter Meyer

More Information: Description and Application details

More Information: Meyer Lab

Closing Date: Check with institute

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