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Project description:

Project no:
Understanding transcriptional regulation of lignin quality in Miscanthus
1st project leader:
Wolf, Sebastian - Heidelberg University, Centre for Organismal Studies (COS)
2nd project leader
We have identified, in the bioenergy crop Miscanthus, a group of transcription factors regulating secondary cell wall biosynthesis. Interestingly, we have revealed distinct functions of individual MYB transcription factors with respect to cell wall composition, lignin quality, target gene spectrum and regulatory motifs. We want to decipher transcriptional regulation underlying these diverging consequences for lignin quality and quantity through a combination of state-of-the-art molecular genetics and genome-wide approaches. In addition, we will make use of the local expertise in crop genetics and Brachypodium distachyon as a genetically tractable model to test the function of conserved secondary cell wall transcription factors in determining biomass accumulation and affecting cell wall qualities relevant for bioeconomy.
Golfier, P., Unda, F., Murphy, E.K., Xie, J., He, F., Zhang, W., Mansfield, S.D., Rausch, T. and Wolf, S. (2019) Distinct and overlapping functions of Miscanthus sinensis MYB transcription factors SCM1 and MYB103 in lignin biosynthesis. bioRxiv, 629709.
Methods that will be used:
Molecular cloning, carbohydrate analysis, gene expression analysis, trans-activation, CRISPR-Cas9, Confocal laser scanning microscopy, bioinformatics, plant transformation
Collaboration partners:
Shawn Mansfield, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Thomas Rausch, COS Heidelberg, Heidelberg
Expected candidate‘s qualification:
Basic molecular biology skills, fluency in English, experience with plants is beneficial, but not a must
Miscanthus, cell wall, transcription factor, Brachypodium, CRISPR-Cas9, transcriptional networks, gene regulation