PhD Research Project - Development of a spectroscopic assay for Potato Virus Y (PVY)

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jan 13, 2019
Feb 12, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
PhD / Doctoral


Potato virus Y (PVY) is a major and prevalent potato virus, causing necrosis (dead spots in leaves and tubers) that leads to a significant reduction in crop yield. PVY is transmitted by aphids but can also be transmitted by machinery and tools. As symptoms alone cannot distinguish various virus strains, a diagnostic assay that can discern various strains but that is also portable, can be used in the field and give fast results, would be of great benefit to both crop scientists and producers alike.

The project will involve use of linear dichroism (LD) spectroscopy; a technique that we have previously shown as providing a rapid method for DNA detection, including DNA arising from bacterial pathogens. This project will now allow us apply and develop this methodology in partnership with SASA to develop a viable assay for viral DNA detection and strain differentiation of PVY which has significant implications for disease severity and control.

Techniques that will be undertaken during the project:

The project will allow the student, from a biological or chemical background, to experience and become proficient in many different techniques, ranging from DNA synthesis through to spectroscopy, microbiology, virology, assay development and device optimisation.

Funding Notes

The project is part of the BBSRC MIBTP programme, involving the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham and Leicester.

More details on this fully funded 4-year PhD programme, can be found here:

More details on eligibility requirements may be found here: