Understanding the physiology of the Green Revolution to enhance wheat varieties for future food security

University of Southampton

United Kingdom

February 28, 2022


Understanding the physiology of the Green Revolution to enhance wheat

varieties for future food security

School of Biological Sciences

Location: Highfield Campus Closing Date: Monday 28 February 2022 Reference: 1677822BJ

PhD Supervisor: Professor Matthew Terry co supervisor: Dr Lorraine Williams

PhD Description : The introduction of Reduced Height-1 ( Rht-1 ) genes into wheat was critical to the success of the Green Revolution, resulting in substantial increases in grain yields. However, the effectiveness of Rht-1 mutations remains limited by negative pleiotropic effects that compromise productivity. The aim of this project is to characterize wheat mutants and over-expressors of the Phytochrome Interacting Factor (PIF) family of proteins, which are proposed targets of RHT-1, with the long term goal of providing more tailored and productive wheat varieties. To date, we have identified mutants in three Ta PIF genes and produced three wheat lines overexpressing PIF proteins. We will characterise the physiology of these lines with respect to growth and development to gain an understanding of the roles of these PIF proteins. We will also use gene editing technologies (CRISPR/Cas9) to target further members of the PIF family to generate combinatorial Ta pif mutants. The project is a collaboration with Dr Steve Thomas at Rothamsted Research.

The project is funded for 3.5 years and welcomes applicants from the UK who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Biological Sciences or allied subjects. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22).

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK applicants

Applications for a PhD in Biological Sciences should be submitted online at:

https: // studentrecords.soton.ac.uk/BNNRPROD/bzsksrch.PLogin?pos=7187&majr=7187&term=202223

please place Name in the field for proposed supervisor.

General enquiries should be made to Professor Matthew Terry at mjt@soton.ac.uk. Any queries on the application process should be made to fels-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

The University of Southampton and the School of Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Silver Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.


About the employer

One of the top research universities in the U.K., the University of Southampton is best-known for its innovative learning system. The university is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Originating from Hartley Institution in 1862, Southampton...