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Identification of exporter of plant ‘fingerprints’

Main area:
Target group:Biology-Biotechnology, Agriculture, Other Education
Educational level:Bachelor, Master
Project description:

The goal of this project is to identify and characterize the transporter that exports glucosinolate defense compounds to surface of leaves. The absence of these compounds on the surface by mutating the transporter will prevent oviposition of specialist insects. This strategy has potential to increase yield of Brassica crop.

Background: In the model plant Arabidopsis, glucosinolates are deposited on the surface of the leaf where they function not only as defense compounds, but also as stimuli for egg-laying by specialist insects. Upon hatching, the larvae eat the leaf and yield is reduced dramatically. We expect the responsible transporter to belong to the ABC family.

   Metabolite profiling

Activities:

a)     Test ABC transporter mutants for metabolites deposited in droplets after treatment with defense activator flagellin22

b)   Clone candidate transporter into yeast and plant expression vector

c)     Biochemical characterization of transporter in yeast (e.g. substrate specificity, Km value) and in planta (localization, expression level)

d)    In planta validation with characterization of loss-of- and gain-of- mutants, metabolite profiling and bioassay

Work environments: We expect you to be enthusiastic, dedicated and eager to learn and advance your skills in many disciplines (e.g. research, oral and written presentations). In return, we provide a stimulating, international research environment, where you have lots of opportunity to advance your skills within basic plant and yeast methodologies.   

Methods used:heterologous expression in yeast and plant hosts, biochemical characterization of transporters, LC-MS analytical chemistry, transport engineering, plant genotyping, bioinformatics on candidate gene family.
Keywords:Transport biology , Yeast, Plant, Biotechnology, Metabolite profiling
Project home page: http://dynamo.ku.dk/
Supervisor(s): Main supervisor: Barbara Halkier, Co-supervisor: Deyang Xu, dyxu@plen.ku.dk
Email:bah@plen.ku.dk