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Mr Ben Sibbett BSc

Postgraduate Research Student in Plant Molecular Biology

Mr Ben Sibbett's photo

Ben Sibbett is Postgraduate Research Student in Plant Molecular Biology within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I completed my BSc in Biology at the University of Southampton graduating in the summer of 2014. After graduating I started my PhD in October where I will be spending my first year at Rothamsted research institute working with Dr. Steve Thomas.

Research interests

My area of interest is light signalling during a plants development. I first touched on the subject during my 3rd year undergraduate research project where I investigated into the role of cytokinin in regulating protochlorophyllide development. I have now began my PhD where I am focused on signalling pathways protecting against photo-oxidative damage that might involve DELLA proteins interacting with PIFs.

Chloroplast development has to be tightly regulated in order to prevent accumulation of potentially lethal reactive oxygen species (ROS). The hormone GA is thought to be very important in the regulation of chloroplast development. GA induces the degradation of DELLA proteins. DELLA proteins have recently been shown to protect against photo-oxidative damage in ways such as increasing expression levels of the enzyme POR. DELLAs have also recently been shown to interact with the Phytochrome Interacting Factors (PIFs) in Arabidopsis. PIF3 in particular is thought to repress chloroplast development in the dark to limit accumulation of damaging ROS. The interaction of PIFs and DELLAs in wheat is unknown so this research is centred around investigating possible interaction between the DELLA protein RHT-1 and specific PIFs.

Supervisor: Professor Matthew Terry, Dr Steve Thomas and Dr Lorraine E Williams  
PhD research: Signalling pathways protecting against photo-oxidative stress during chloroplast development in wheat.
Funding: BBSRC

Research group

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Research project(s)

Light regulation of chloroplast development and tetrapyrrole synthesis

This projects aims to understand the signalling pathways regulating chloroplast development with a focus on the synthesis of the tetrapyrrole, chlorophyll. Current work is examining phytochrome and gibberellin signalling in the model plant Arabidopsis and wheat, a major crop plant.

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Mr Ben Sibbett
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ
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