Regulation of alternative splicing in plants
The Kalyna research group at the Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology is looking for a highly motivated Master’s student who is interested in RNA biology, alternative splicing, and plant molecular biology.
Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants produced from a single gene and is, therefore, a key strategy to increase the diversity of expressed information encoded by eukaryotic genomes.
Our research has shown that alternative splicing is far more widespread in plants than previously thought. Deep transcriptome sequencing of the model plant Arabidopsis revealed that two-thirds of intron-containing genes undergo alternative splicing (Marquez et al., Genome Res, 2012; Zhang et al., Nucleic Acids Res. 2017). Closer examination of alternative splicing in Arabidopsis and humans led us to the discovery of an unusual type of introns that we termed exitrons (exonic introns) (Marquez et al., Genome Res, 2012; Marquez et al., Genome Res, 2015; featured in Staiger and Simpson, Genome Biol. 2015, Zlotorynski Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol., 2015, and Sibley et al., Nat Rev Genet., 2016). Exitrons are alternatively spliced internal regions of protein-coding exons and have features of both exons and introns. Many plant and human protein-coding genes contain exitrons. A large proportion of our research has been on the Ser/Arg-rich (SR) proteins, major regulators of alternative splicing. For example, together with our collaborators, we showed that chloroplasts signal the nucleus to change alternative splicing of SR genes in response to light or dark (Petrillo et al., Science 2014).
Our current projects aim to find out more about the mechanisms of alternative splicing in plants, regulation of exitrons, and functions of SR proteins in plant development and stress response.
Requirements and desired qualifications:
- bachelor (or equivalent) degree in molecular biology or a related area
- high accuracy and reliability
- solid written and oral communication skills in English
Ansprechperson: To apply, please send a CV and cover letter to Mariya Kalyna e-mail
The position will remain open until it is filled.