The Regulation of Chromosome Axis formation in Plant Meiosis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


In all sexually reproducing eukaryotes, meiotic recombination is essential for the maintenance of the ploidy level of the species, and the introduction of genetic variation. Both require genetic crossovers (COs) formed during meiosis.
The first step in CO formation is the production of double strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA. In many species, the number of DSBs produced far outweighs the number of COs that eventually resolve; in Arabidopsis thaliana, approximately 5% of DSBs will become COs. Several levels of control on CO frequency and distribution have previously been elucidated. In many cereal species such as Wheat, these stringent controls on recombination result in up to 50% of the genetic information being inaccessible to plant breeders.
It is still not fully understood how the decision to make a CO is made, but it is known that the interaction between the recombination machinery, the chromosome axis, and the global remodelling of chromosomes during meiosis is crucial. Investigating the role of the chromosome axis in meiosis is therefore essential if we are to learn how we might manipulate meiotic recombination, and allow crop breeders to more rapidly develop new, improved cultivars. Through a combination of innovative molecular and cytogenetic techniques, this PhD project aims to further our understanding of the role of the chromosome axes in meiosis, and how individual proteins are regulated. This will include investigation of the protein-protein interactions and post-transcriptional modifications that may influence the regulation and role of several core axis proteins, as well as the use of super-resolution microscopy to visualise the axis in greater detail.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1644151 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 05/10/2015 30/09/2019 Alice Darbyshire