Project title: 

Systemic RNA interference (RNAi) in flowering plants

Project duration:

Winter Research Project: 4-6 weeks



Gene silencing is a highly conserved process in plants and animals. It is of fundamental importance to gene regulation, virus defence, genome response to environment, and genome evolution. Remarkably, when silencing is triggered against a virus or an abundantly expressed gene in plants, it can spread throughout the organism. This systemic signally pathway is a particularly important defense mechanism against viruses. The aim of this project is to identify plant genes required for systemic movement of gene silencing in plants. Expected outcomes include increased understanding of the role of RNAi in defence against viruses. The findings may also be relevant to mechanisms of gene silencing in animals.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Applicants can expect to gain experience and knowledge in PCR-based genotyping of plants for mutations in genes involved in RNAi, grafting Arabidopsis plants, genetic mapping, screening for a reporter gene, and collection and analysis of data. Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.


Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students with a strong interest in molecular genetics, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, year 2 or 3 undergraduate students.

Primary Supervisor:


Professor Bernie Carroll


Further info:

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB)