RNA binding proteins and mRNA localisation in Drosophila

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: School of Biosciences


The biosynthetic pathways for menthol, carvone and nepetalactone are well-understood, and this project will employ plant metabolic engineering via genetic modification to enhance the yield of these compounds in the essential oils. Using advanced modular DNA assembly techniques such as the Golden Gate cloning system, key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of menthol, carvone or nepetalactone will be manipulated by overexpression or down-regulation using RNA interference in order to optimise the production and accumulation of these compounds in transgenic plants. This will involve the creation of single and multi-gene constructs using different combinations of promoters, terminators and regulation mechanisms to identify the optimum combination of genetic modifications to maximise oil compound yield. Oil composition will be analysed by GC-MS and lines producing optimum oil profiles will be selected for growth trials in Uganda.

Transgenic lines sent to our partner organisations in Uganda will be cultivated and the oils extracted and sold directly or used for the development of local food, beverage and cosmetic products. Through partnerships established between Cardiff and Makerere Universities and with our local business partner organisation CEMPOP, this project will ensure that sustainable financial benefits accrue principally to local communities in Uganda, via cooperative groups set up to grow, harvest and exploit new mint crops.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T008741/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2028
2435443 Studentship BB/T008741/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Dana Erin Jackson