Mechanisms of palladium uptake and nanoparticle formation by plants

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


This project builds on our research on the use of plants to take up precious metals from waste sources, such as mined areas. The student will establish the genetics underpinning palladium uptake and subsequent deposition as nanoparticles (NPs) in plants. Uniquely, we have identified Arabidopsis mutant plants with altered sensitives to Pd. The student will look at the underlying genetics. S/he will validate candidate genes by rescuing wild-type phenotypes using complementation with non-mutated gene sequences (ii) expression of the genes in yeast for transporter studies and (iii) by production of over-expressor plant lines for metal uptake analysis.
We have also developed an exciting and novel technique to control the subsequent deposition of Pd in planta as catalytically-active nanoparticles. The student will (iv) produce plant lines expressing peptide sequences and (v) investigate the effects on Pd-uptake, production and catalytic activity. This highly interdisciplinary research is in collaboration with the University of York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and will include synthetic biology, biochemistry, imaging and catalysis techniques. These studies will contribute to the re-vegetation of environmentally-damaged mining regions and sustainability of this finite, and precious, metal resource.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
1949466 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2017 31/12/2021 Jessica Dobson