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Master's degree project in plant cell molecular biology

COS, Heidelberg University, Germany
Available earliest from the April 1st 2020. 


Alyona Minina, PhD: alyona.minina (@)

Jana Askani, MSc: jana.askani (@)

Karin Schumacher, Prof: karin.schumacher (@)

Short description

Autophagy is the major catabolic process underpinning sustainability of eukaryotic cells. It is the process by which cells engulf cargo destined for degradation into double-membrane vesicles, autophagosomes, deliver them to a lytic compartment (vacuole) and upcycle the products of degradation.

Elucidating the molecular machinery of plant autophagy enables understanding of how plants cope with biotic and abiotic stresses and contributes to our knowledge of plant developmental programs.
In our group we combine a unique expertise in plant vacuole biogenesis, endomembrane trafficking and autophagy. In this project we are going to investigate key steps of plant autophagosomes maturation prior to their fusion with the vacuole.

Project goals:

  1. Establishing a set of transgenic lines expressing mutant forms of proteins required for plant autophagosomes maturation

  2. Detecting dynamics of autophagy efficacy in the established lines

  3. Planning and making genetic constructs for further mutations to elucidate the maturation mechanism in more details

cropped AM 454 AZD root 5 cytoplasm G_ch
cropped TrackMate capture AM 454 AZD roo

Tracking autophagosomes in epidermal root cells of Arabidopsis thaliana.

You will acquire skills in:

  1. Advanced fluorescent microscopy 

  2. Handling typical plant model organism Arabidopsis thaliana 

  3. Genetic engineering 

  4. Advanced DNA and protein molecular biology methods 

  5. Plant transformation 

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