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PhD position, Molecular mechanisms of bud-dormancy of trees - 2019BAPFWETEF164Posted by: University of Antwerp
Posted date: 2019-Jun-05
The Faculty of Science is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of Biology for a
Doctoral student in the area of molecular mechanisms of bud-dormancy of trees: unraveling winter sleep to understand spring reactivation - improved understanding of leaf out phenology in temperate deciduous trees by gaining insight in environmental controls of bud dormancy.
By affecting the uptake of carbon and the transpiration of water by forests, leaf phenology (the seasonal timing of leaf development) does not only affect tree growth but it also influences local weather and long-term climate change. Despite a wealth of observations of the date that leaves appear in spring, this process is still not fully understood. Leaf out can occur at very different moments in spring, despite similar spring weather. Part of the reason is that spring leaf out is only the end point of an entire winter of bud responses to cold temperatures, to warm temperatures, and to changes in day length. To fully understand the climatic controls over spring phenology insight is needed into what happens during the winter, when buds are apparently asleep. Therefore, we will conduct experiments in which temperature and day length will be altered, and throughout the entire winter, we will monitor changes in gene expression, in metabolite concentrations, and dormancy depth. The aim is to advance insight in spring phenology, but also to identify genes or metabolites that could give information on the state of dormancy during winter, and thereby on the bud's sensitivity to spring warming. The work will be carried out in PLECO and IMPRESS groups of the University of Antwerp and in collaboration with CzechGlobe and Greifswald University.
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