From basic research in plant and animal biology towards biotechnological improvement and sustainable development



Host Department
Department of Biology



Research Topic B

Abstract of the proposed UNIPhD research project


Autophagy is a key process for the intracellular degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic components and is highly conserved across the eukaryotic kingdoms. Several proteins regulate autophagy initiation and various regulatory processes in mammals, but they have never been described in plants. The aim of my project is to investigate the cross-kingdom functional conservation of autophagy by using the moss P. patens as model organism. Specifically, I will define the relevance of candidate proteins in plant development and autophagic flux as well as expanding their network in plants.



Short bio

I am Giulia Ghirardello and I come from Italy. I was awarded a Master of Science in Biology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala (Sweden) in 2021. My studies focused on the improvement of plant traits for the development of a sustainable agriculture by using molecular biology tools. I have always been fascinated by how plants react to environmental stresses and during my Master’s thesis I investigated the role of autophagy in the plant immune system in response to viral infection. I like travelling, long walks in the nature and comics. As PhD student in Biosciences, I will deepen my knowledge in plant biology and continue my studies on autophagy in order to pursue a career in the research field.

Topic assigned to
Giulia Ghirardello


Project documents