PhD in Plant Virology
Investigating genes involved in symptom induction for Potato virus Y.
University of Bristol Supervisor: Dr Gary Foster
CSL supervisors: Dr Ian Barker/Dr Neil Boonham
Potato virus Y is the most economically important virus infecting potato; in
conjunction with potato leaf roll virus and potato virus X it has been shown
to be responsible for crop losses in potato amounting to £30-50 million per
year in the UK.
There are three main PVY strains (PVYN, PVYO, PVYC), described on the basis
of systemic and local symptoms in selected cultivars of Nicotiana tabacum
and Solanum tuberosum. More recently (and of direct relevance to this
studentship) a disease known as potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease
(PTNRD) has emerged. The disease is characterised by pronounced necrosis on
the tubers, spoiling them for either processing, table or seed use. Recent
evidence (Boonham et al., 1998; Boonham et al., 2002) suggests the emergence
of the new disease has been caused by recombination events taking place
between the genomes of other strains of PVY, leading to new types of virus
with different pathology. The aim of the project is to construct infectious
virus clones for the different strains of PVY, allowing mutational studies
to be carried out within the PVY genome, and isolate which virus genes are
involved in symptom induction. Secondly to carry out investigations into the
spatial and temporal expression patterns for host genes (using potato
genomic micro-arrays), during induction of tuber necrosis symptom allowing
the elucidation of host genes involved in the virus plant interaction.
The studentship will offer training in most modern molecular techniques,
including PCR, sequencing, use of microarrays, construction of infectious
clones to identify the genes involved in the interaction between PVY and the
its potato host.
The Central Science Laboratory (CSL) is an Executive Agency of the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The project,
funded by CSL, includes consumables, tuition fees as well as maintenance of
£10,000 per annum. The studentship, available from 1 October 2002, will be
undertaken jointly between The University of Bristol and the Central Science
Laboratory in York.
Applicants should have or expect to obtain a good degree in
biology/biochemistry, molecular biology. Please send your CV to Dr Gary
Foster in the first instance, along with the names/addresses/e.mails of two
referees. Deadline for applications is 20th May 2002. The position is open
to UK and EEC residents.
Dr Gary Foster, School of Biological Sciences,
University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1UG, United Kingdom
E.mail : Gary.Foster at bristol.ac.uk