PhD projects are now available to study a wide range of topics in biosecurity and pathogenesis

Top-up scholarships are available!

Listed below is an example of projects available in the Solomon Lab. Please contact Peter to discuss these further or other possibilities (note that the skills gained in the project are shown in brackets after the project) …

Studying pathogen proteins that cause disease

  • How does wheat respond to the effector protein exposure at the transcript level? (RNA isolation, RNA sequencing, bioinformatics)
  • How are these effector proteins regulated? The genes encoding these effector proteins are only expressed either during infection or under very specific in vitro conditions. Why? (Molecular biology, promoter analysis using GFP fusions, genetic modification techniques)
  • Localisation of the effector proteins during infection. Where do the effector proteins go during infection? This can be monitored using confocal microscopy and fluorescence. (confocal microscopy, mircoscopy sample preparation techniques, molecualr biology)
  • Do the pathogen effector proteins bind to wheat proteins during infection? (yeast 2-hybrid analysis, co-immunoprecipitation, molecular biology)

Characterising the Zymoseptoria tritici-wheat interaction

  • Genome sequencing and comparative genomics of Australian Z. tritici isolates (DNA isolation, genome sequencing, bioinformatics).
  • Isolating pathogen proteins responsible for disease (protein expression, protein purification, molecular biology)
  • Determining the proteome/metabolome of the pathogen during infection (proteomics, metabolomics)

Novel metabolite discovery and characterisation

  • Are pathogen secondary metabolites involved in causing disease? If not, what do they do? (genetic modification techniques, basic chemistry, molecular biology, pathogenicity assays)
  • What novel metabolites do fungal secondary metabolites produce? What do they do? (molecular biology, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, chemistry)
  • As the research in the Solomon Lab is focussed on the Australia wheat industry, substantial scholarship top-ups are available through the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Small travel grants are also available within Australia if you are interested in visiting the Solomon Lab to discuss PhD options.