Which cellular cues regulate seasonal perception and shoot growth

Exploring the relationship between energy and growth in plants

We study how cellular oxygen and redox status influence cell proliferation or quiescence in the meristem.

Plants perceive and respond to environmental and nutritional cues to regulate meristem activity and thus plant form. We have some understanding of how light, temperature and nutrition regulate meristem proliferation but still many questions remain.

Excellent opportunities exist to develop this research in model plants (Arabidopsis, tomato) as well as perennial fruits (grapevine, apple), where bud dormancy introduces quite a different state of quiescence and regulation.

Over the past five years, enormous advances have been made in understanding the roles of oxygen status and redox potential in regulating plant developmental transitions (Considine and Foyer, 2014; Considine et al., 2017). Prior to this, knowledge was limited to stress conditions, such as flooding, chilling or drought.

This project will investigate the convergence of oxygen, redox and energy cues in regulating the cell cycle in plant meristems. Studies can span several domains, from the apical meristem of Arabidopsis or tomato, to the axillary quiescent or dormant buds of perennial species. Approaches will be based on molecular physiology, including use of mutant lines and potentially genetic manipulation.

For more background information, see the suggested readings below.

Research team leader: Dr Michael Considine

I’m a Senior Research Fellow, jointly funded by the Department of Industries and Regional Development. I’ve led several national research projects in grapevine and apple, focussing on post-genomic technologies to explore reproductive development and dormancy in optimal and stressed climates. I collaborate with leading national and international research groups and have a strong interest in plant oxygen and redox biology and signalling.

PhD opportunities

Interested in becoming part of this project? Complete the following steps to submit your expression of interest:

Step 1 - Check criteria

General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website.

Requirements specific to this project include:

  • A keen interest in developmental biology
  • A sound understanding of plant physiology
  • Excellent molecular biology skills
  • Data management skills (e.g. R-project; desirable)

Step 2 - Submit enquiry to research team leader

Step 3 - Lodge application

After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, you should be in a position to proceed to the next step of the UWA application process: Lodge an applicationDifferent application procedures apply to domestic and international students.


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CRICOS Code: 00126G
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 9:02 AM (this date excludes nested assets)
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