Exploring the interaction between novel drought signals in plants
Investigate the interaction between different plant chemical signals and their role in plant drought tolerance.
Cytosolic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and chloroplastic 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'- phosphate (PAP) are recently discovered stress-inducible signals in plants. By perturbing the metabolism of either, stomatal signalling responses are disrupted resulting in a reduced ability of plants to survive drought.
However, it is unknown if there is a communication between two signals in the regulation of plant gas exchange. This project is to examine the interaction of GABA and SAL1-PAP in stomatal regulation and expected to reveal a new signal network in guard cells.
You will develop skills in:
- Molecular biology
- Stomatal aperture assay
- Stomatal conductance measurement
- Pornsiriwong W, Estavillo GM, Chan KX, Tee EE, et al. (2017). A chloroplast retrograde signal, 3’-phosphoadenosine 5’-phosphate, acts as a secondary messenger in abscisic acid signaling in stomatal closure and germination. Elife.
- Mekonnen DW, Flügge UI, & Ludewig F (2016). Gamma-aminobutyric acid depletion affects stomata closure and drought tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Science.
Co supervisor: Professor Matthew Gilliham
Research area: Plant biology and biochemistry
Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Plant Science