Testing a bistable switch model for the floral transition

Supervision: The project will be supervised by George Coupland at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.

Abstract: Floral transition is the first step in plant reproduction, and initiates the switch from vegetative development to flowering. Using genetic and molecular approaches in the model system Arabidopsis thaliana, we and other groups have defined a gene regulatory network (GRN) that controls the timing of floral transition in response to environmental cues. This GRN constitutes an environmentally induced switch that causes the shoot apical meristem to irreversibly transition from forming leaves to producing flowers. In this project, chemically inducible transgenes, confocal imaging, and mathematical modelling will be used to quantitatively define the switch mechanism. This combination of experimental and theoretical approaches will enable the formulation of quantitative models of the floral transition.

Link to the Coupland group homepage: https://www.mpipz.mpg.de/coupland

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