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Biotechnology and engineering

Headline research projects for this theme:

OpenPlant has built community standards for modular DNA parts, establishing an open source engineering platform for reprogramming plant growth using the simple lower plant, Marchantia polymorpha. Lead: Jim Haseloff.

Systems allowing small electrical devices to be powered from currents generated by photosynthetic microorganisms have been developed. Lead: Julian Hibberd.

A community-led effort to identify, characterize and generate standard DNA parts to facilitate genetic manipulation of the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Lead: Alison Smith

Defining the minimal set of genes required to engineer nitrogen-fixing symbioses into cereals. Lead: Giles Oldroyd.

Associated research groups:

Contributing research groups from associated institutions:

Some projects will be specifically targeted towards defined UKRI Research Council DTP schemes, as well as being open for applicants applying to the University's Postgraduate Funding Competition or other sources of funding.

Potential applicants should always approach the potential Supervisor/Group Leader in the first instance to discuss eligibility.

Key to funding opportunities below:

  • GFC = Postgraduate Funding Competition,
  • NERC = Cambridge NERC C-CLEAR DTP,
  • OTHER = Other sources of funding


Title Description
Brockington Group: Understanding the rules of convergent evolution NERC / UF / OTHER
Brockington Group: Why do plants accumulate animal-type neurotransmitters? NERC / UF / OTHER
Brockington Group: Defining the evolutionary mechanisms underlying a novel eukaryotic gene cluster NERC / UF / OTHER
Harris Group: Readers of the ‘histone code’: the missing link in triggering gene activity UF / OTHER
Harris Group: Epigenome engineering: priming chromatin for pathogen resistance UF / OTHER
Henderson Group: Unlocking recombination in plant genomes via epigenetic modification UF / OTHER
Henderson Group: Understanding interactions between genetic diversity and recombination in plant genomes UF / OTHER
Henderson Group: Mapping and remodeling the recombination landscape in Chlamydomonas UF / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: Losing diapause: is the loss of diapause and rapid population build-up of Potato Cyst Nematodes in Africa prophetic for a warmer UK? NERC / UF / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The plant immunity - and development-altering ‘effector toolbox’ of parasitic nematodes UF / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the evolution of plant-parasitism by nematodes UF / OTHER

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