Regulation of chloroplast function via alternative splicing in the nucleus

Alternative splicing in the nucleus is one of the mechanisms enabling one single gene to encode multiple protein isoforms with a wide diversity of biochemical, structural and regulatory features. Indeed, alternative splicing is crucial in enabling plant cells to respond flexibly to changing environmental conditions. Our unpublished data shows that a substantial number of genes being alternatively spliced in the nucleus during abiotic stress are chloroplast-targeted proteins. This includes signalling proteins (kinases, phosphatases), as well as key enzymes involved in redox regulation of photosynthesis and redox homeostasis of chloroplast proteins. In this project, you will: 

  • characterise the impact of alternative splicing on protein structure and function, both in vitro and in vivo;
  • identify new protein targets of alternatively spliced kinases and phosphatases
  • determine how alternative splicing is regulated by, and in turn influences, cellular signalling