Available student project - Do plants fight back? Understanding the mechanical responses of plant cells
- Materials Science and Engineering
Schematic of a plant cell under attack by a pathogen
Plants become infected with disease when a pathogen tunnels through a cell wall and enters a plant cell. Plants can detect the applied pressure of an invading pathogen and have several responses in order to defend themselves. One self-defence response is a stiffening of the region below the cell wall at the site of attack. This project involves performing nano-scale mechanical measurements of a cell wall under pressure to detect self-defense responses triggered in the plant. This includes measuring the stiffness of the cell wall in normal and mutant type plants. This project offers skills in measuring material properties as well as biological sample preparation.
Materials science and plant biology would be ideal but not essential.
This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
- Honours project
- Phd or Masters