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I am a PhD student in Anthony Hall’s group interested in studying circadian rhythms in plants. I moved to the Earlham institute from Liverpool University where my work involved fluorescently tagging clock proteins and studying their expression over time using confocal microscopy. Post-acquisition image ‘stitching’ of several positions has allowed me to create detailed videos of whole seedlings over several days to show how individual cells communicate to generate waves of expression, thereby setting the plant clock.
Another goal of my work at Liverpool was to develop synthetic tools for circadian research using the Golden Gate assembly method to create clock gene promoter parts which could then be used by others in the field to control expression of any gene of interest. I will continue to test and improve these standardized parts, identifying the smallest promoter regions which still carry all clock coordinated regulatory control for downstream genes.
At Earlham my work on the circadian clock will continue using a specialized imaging platform to measure delayed fluorescence (DF) rhythms in wheat leaves from the representative core accessions of the Watkins collection. DF is the ideal technique for analyzing clock phenotypes in wheat as no prior labeling or transformation is required before imaging. When wheat accessions of varying period have been identified I will investigate how the crossing of plants with different clocks impacts on hetrosis and yield in the next generation.