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Department of Plant Sciences



Supervisor: Professor Julia Davies


Programmed cell death (PCD) occurs as part of reproduction, development and response to environmental stress. A seemingly conserved component is a rapid increase in cytosolic free calcium, possibly as a second messenger. The plasma membrane calcium channels that mediate that increase have yet to be identified. The “Poppydopsis” system is a new tool for studying calcium in cell death. This is Arabiopsis expressing the Poppy PrpS1 plasma membrane receptor that triggers cell death in incompatible Poppy pollen/pistil interactions. The cognate peptide increases calcium and triggers cell death in Poppydopsis pollen tubes and root cells. The aim of this project is to identify the plasma membrane calcium channels working downstream of PrpS1 in Poppydopsis and to test the hypothesis that anion efflux is a committed step in PCD. The study will be in collaboration with Dr. Maurice Bosh (Aberystwyth) and Prof. Noni Franklin-Tong FRS (Birmingham).



  • Lin, Z., et al. (2020) Ectopic Expression of a Self-incompatability Module Triggers Growth Arrest and Cell Death in Vegetative cells. Plant Physiology 183, 1765-1779. doi/10.1104/pp.20.00292