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PhD Transient Induction of Plant Regeneration

PhD Transient Induction of Plant Regeneration

Wageningen University, Netherlands



We are looking for a PhD student to develop new technologies to facilitate plant regeneration in a non-GMO manner. The project is funded in the framework of the national Topsector program and will be carried out in collaboration with six companies.
Plant regeneration techniques are routinely applied in plant breeding programs to clonally propagate breeding and production material (somatic embryogenesis, micropropagation) or as a fast route to generate homozygous lines (doubled-haploid production). Species and genotype recalcitrance for in vitro embryogenesis is the major bottleneck limiting the use of these biotechnology tools for crop breeding and production. Tissue culture recalcitrance is usually overcome by a time-consuming trial and error approach in which the different combinations of explant, growth regulators and culture conditions are evaluated.
Plant regeneration can also be enhanced by ectopic expression of certain plant transcription factors, including the AP2 domain protein BABY BOOM (BBM). BBM has been used to enhance plant regeneration in a wide range of model and crop plants. These approaches rely on generation of transgenic lines that express the transcription factor from a constitutive promoter, together with a system for conditional expression to allow recovery of fertile plants. Although successful, the transgenic approach is limited to plants that can be genetically transformed and also precludes routine commercial utilization.
In this project we will examine the extent to which BBM can be used to transiently promote in vitro regeneration without genomic integration of nucleic acids and without genomic DNA mutation. Approaches that will be taken include introduction of BBM protein with cell penetrating peptides and activation of endogenous BBM gene expression using CRISPR-dCas9 technology or small compounds.
The project also aims to understand the mechanism underlying BBM-mediated regeneration by identifying regulatory factors that modulate BBM function during seed development and in vitro regeneration.
Function Requirements

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc. degree in plant (molecular) biology who has a strong interest in developing new technology, as well as an affinity for plant development. The candidate should be fluent in written and spoken English, enjoy working on the boundary between fundamental and applied science, and be able to communicate with both academic and industrial partners.


More information to be found here


Wageningen University, NL

Printed from on 25/03/17 05:49:07 AM

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