Plant chloroplasts evolved through endosymbiosis from a photosynthetic bacterium over the course of more than a billion years. Most of the ~3000 different proteins that may be found in a present-day chloroplast are encoded by the nuclear genome, synthesized in the cytosol, and imported into the organelle via import machinery of chimeric origin: some components are of prokaryotic ancestry, but many are eukaryotic inventions that have been added post-endosymbiosis. The DPhil student will be part of a well-funded research group that is conducting pioneering research on diverse topics related to chloroplast protein import and plastid biogenesis. The details of any DPhil project would be defined in discussion with the student, but are likely to entail evolutionary aspects of the development of the modern organellar import machinery using molecular and bioinformatic approaches.
Chloroplast; endosymbiosis; organelle; evolution; photosynthesis; plant