Recruiting for CAPITALISE

We are recruiting another postdoc to work with us and a great group of collaborators on the EU Horizon 2020 project CAPITALISE!

You’ll get to join the team of Prof Elizabete Carmo-Silva and wider Lancaster Photosynthesis team, as well as the Plant and Crop Sciences group at the Lancaster Environment Centre.

This role will contribute to efforts to characterise natural variation in photosynthetic traits to improve photosynthetic efficiency in barley, tomato and maize.

Full information for this Plant Molecular Biology role can be found here.

Please carefully read the details at the linked Lancaster Jobs portal pages, informal enquiries can be sent via email, but all applications must be submitted through the portal for consideration. Applications close Tuesday 12th October.

Update 27 Aug: A couple of people have asked, so to clarify, yes these jobs are available to anyone, not just UK based people.
If you will need a work visa for the UK that is perfectly fine.

Recruiting for PhotoBoost!

We are recruiting *2* postdocs to work with us and collaborators on the EU Horizon 2020 project PhotoBoost!

You’ll get to join the team of Prof Elizabete Carmo-Silva and wider Lancaster Photosynthesis team, as well as the Plant and Crop Sciences group at the Lancaster Environment Centre.

These roles are both for 42 months initially, and will contribute to efforts to improve the productivity and sustainability of two essential C3 crops: rice and potatoes. PhotoBoost involves a large number of international partners, and at Lancaster involves Profs Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Steve Long, and Martin Parry.

Full information for the Metabolic Modelling role can be found here.

And for the Metabolic Engineering role here.

Please carefully read the details at the linked Lancaster Jobs portal pages, informal enquiries can be sent via email, but all applications must be submitted through the portal for consideration. Applications for both positions close Monday 20th September.

Update 27 Aug: A couple of people have asked, so to clarify, yes these jobs are available to anyone, not just UK based people.
If you will need a work visa for the UK that is perfectly fine.

Academic career path – an example!

Hi everyone, inspired by being asked to do something similar at a recent conference for early career researchers, I have recorded a presentation where I talk about my career path.

There are many diverse paths, no two people follow the same path, and everyone needs to find theirs. Seeing examples might help inspire someone, so that’s why I am doing this.

Examples of academic paths tend to be easier to find than alternative paths, and I would encourage you to also look elsewhere for diverse examples. Being successful is about being happy with what you do.

If you are curious to learn more about someone’s path, reach out to them and ask for a chat. Most people will be delighted to share their experiences!

Also, it is important to recognise that everyone goes through ups and downs. My path has certainly had many smiles, and quite a few tears as well! It is not all shiny, but it is my path, and one that I am happy with and proud of.

I am extremely lucky and grateful to have had many inspiring mentors and colleagues along the way, both senior and junior. Thanks so much for being there for me and making my journey brighter!!

I hope I can pay it forward and inspire others to be happy and successful too.

Warm wishes,

Elizabete

 

Congratulations to 2 of our PIs on promotions!

Massive congratulations to newly minted Professor Elizabete Carmo-Silva, and new Senior Research Fellow Marjorie Lundgren!

Very well deserved and well earned promotions both! Keep up the excellent work.

You can learn more about Elizabetes work here, and about Marjs work here.

Keep an eye on this page/twitter as we’ll have a number of postdoc opportunities appearing this week!

Day and night: Rubisco activase during a daily cycle

By Juan Alejandro Perdomo, Lancaster Photosynthesis group postdoc.

The relative abundance of wheat Rubisco activase isoforms is post-transcriptionally regulated.”
Perdomo, Buchner & Carmo-Silva, Photosynthesis Research (Paper link.)

Rubisco, the most abundant enzyme in plants, and its chaperone Rubisco activase (Rca) are key enzymes for photosynthesis. We wanted to get a better understanding of how much the expression and amount of these photosynthetic proteins vary during the day.

To obtain data over a suitable timescale to show how Rubisco and Rca varies in accordance with the daily cycle, and I slept outside the growth chambers for two days. We’ve learnt a number of interesting things from these results.

We found that alongside the different regulatory properties of each of the three Rca isoforms in wheat, each of them also shows different daily patterns. TaRca1-β expression was almost null during the whole daily cycle. The redox-sensitive TaRca-α isoform was less abundant, representing 85% of the redox-insensitive TaRca2-β at the transcript level and 12.5% at the protein level. Therefore, our results show that in wheat plants TaRca2-β is the isoform with the highest expression and amount. These changes in Rca isoform abundance and ratio are imperative since the three wheat Rca isoforms activate Rubisco at different rates and differ in their sensitivity to temperature and changes in the ADP/ATP ratio.

We found that Rubisco amounts are pretty constant during the daytime. However, its abundance dropped by 20% by the middle of the night. Could this be due to a high Rubisco degradation during the night, which represents a big nitrogen sink for wheat plants? We don’t yet know, but our data is an interesting note to explore further in the future.

On the other hand, gene expression and protein amount did not correlate for Rubisco or any of the Rca isoforms during the daily cycle. This outcome suggests that the abundance of both enzymes and their isoforms is post-transcriptionally regulated, and that for these proteins transcript levels are insufficient to predict functional protein levels. Though we have seen evidence of temperature impacts on transcription and subsequent protein amounts for the more thermally stable TaRca1-β isoform.

This was an interesting experiment to do to better understand how the expression of the different isoforms of this key regulator of photosynthesis behaves during the day (even if it meant some long nights sampling!). As we gain more and more understanding of both the expression and biochemical variability of wheat Rubisco activase isoforms, it gives us further knowledge to apply to improving the efficiency of photosynthesis, and improving wheat production for more sustainable, secure food production.

Recruiting: Postdoc for C2 engineering with Marjorie Lundgren!

As part of her recently funded UKRI FLF work on engineering C2 photosynthesis, there is an exciting opportunity to work with Marj for a 42 month Senior Postdoctoral Associate role, with the potential for this to be extended.

You can find more about the work here.  Or on her LEC page here.

Application details and further details are available via the Lancaster University jobs page portal.
*Please note that full instructions are at the above link, all applications must be submitted through the portal.

MRes viva – congrats Alex!

Congratulations to Alex Sokolnik who successfully complete his MRes viva this week! Well done!

Alex was working on cowpea development, and like many had to adapt and dramatically change his (formerly lab-based) project part way through.