Genetics of post-embryonic plant development


This project will suit you if your scientific passion is to understand the relationship of genotype and phenotype using the tools of molecular and transmission genetics in an organism that is amenable to modern genetic methodologies.


Dr Jenny Saleeba

Research Location

School of Biological Sciences

Program Type



Genetics and molecular biology are used in order to decipher the way in which genes, biochemicals and environment work together to shape an organism. The Saleeba Lab philosophy is that scientific progress at the molecular level comes into its own when small molecular changes affect the phenotype of the whole organism. For this reason, our experiments combine a molecular investigation with work on the whole organism in two ways. We investigate the effect that small genetic changes have on the whole organism and we investigate the way in which phenotypic differences are encoded by the genome.

 The particular system used in the lab is the investigation of the genetic component to post-embryonic development in root architecture (the ratio of branching versus linear growth) in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana.  Root architecture is influenced by both genes and environment. We aim to understand the contribution of both. Using knockout mutants, we have identified a series of genes that affect the way that roots develop.

Analysis of mutants in the lab has shown that root branching patterns are altered when the expression of a range of genes is interrupted. In this project you will investigate the mode of action of the genes separately and you will also decipher the way in which the gene products interact with each other. The analysis of gene expression and plant root phenotype will be used together to understand how the expression of the genes fits into a coordinated mode of action in root development.

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Molecular Genetics, plant molecular biology, Development, Genetics, plant genetics

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1398