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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Lubna Faizullah

PhD student



Project title: Impact of nutrient stress (N&P) and genome size on the physiology (photosynthesis) of plants

Summary: Plants need nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) as essential nutrients for their growth and development. Plants need these to biosynthesize DNA, RNA,  proteins and secondary compounds and to drive all the biochemical reactions of the cell. Under limiting nutrients it is likely that there are trade offs between different uses of N and P in the cell. In particular, we can hypothesize that there are trade-offs between the nutrient demands of nucleic acids needed for cell division and that of pigments and proteins needed for photosynthesis. Assuming so, then plant genome size may impact that trade off, especially as plant genome sizes range at  least 2,400 between species. We suspect that large genome sizes are likely to be more N and P costly, and this cost are more significant under limiting nutrient condition, where nucleic acids will be in competition with N and P demanding metabolic processes, especially photosynthesis. This project aims to address any trade offs that occur under limiting nutrients and to calculate the N and P demands of the nucleus and photosynthesis.