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Mapping 3D communication networks in plants

Principal Supervisor: Professor George Bassel

Secondary Supervisor(s): Professor Miriam Gifford

University of Registration: University of Warwick

BBSRC Research Themes:

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Deadline: 4 January, 2024

Project Outline

The cytoplasm of plant cells is connected through specialized channels called plasmodesmata. These provide a major route for cell-to-cell communication in plants, and control a wide range of developmental processes.

The mechanisms which control plasmodesmata opening and closing are being uncovered, definig how cells control their communication. Much less is known about how they are distributed across the interfaces between cells in plant tissues

Using a combination of 3D confocal laser microscopy and computer image analysis, the distribution of plasmodesmata will be captured. These data will in turn be analysed to reveal the organizing principles of multicellular life and communication between their cells. The project will make cutting edge molecular, imaging and computational tools in both model and crop species to understand the relationship between plant cell communication and organization.

Applicants need no prior experience, just a willingness to learn.


Confocal microscopy, plant growth, 3D computational image analysis, mathematical science.