Frontier Bioscience - 400 Million Years of Sugar Transport in Plants: Unearthing the origin, evolution and genetic toolkit of the phloem

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Biological Sciences


Plants require an internal conducting network to transport food and water around their bodies. This conducting network is termed vasculature and consists of two tissues; water conducting xylem and food conducting phloem. The acquisition of these tissues during plant evolution was key for the origin of trees and crops from tiny moss-like ancestors. Despite the importance of the phloem for transporting sugars as well as a diversity of other compounds and signalling molecules throughout plants we know almost nothing about its evolution or how it responds to climate change. The aim for this project is to study the evolution of the phloem over its 400 million year history and to answer key evolution questions such as: (i) when did the phloem originate, (ii) how has its structure, function and genetic toolkit evolved over the past 400 million years, (iii) how has phloem evolution been driven by climate change?


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T00875X/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2028
2672587 Studentship BB/T00875X/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2025