Under supervision of Dr. Joram A. Dongus (joram.dongus@wur.nl)

Aim: Using CRISPR to identify promoter elements that regulate salt responsive genes in the floral transition

Salt stress is posing an increasingly larger threat to global food security and natural ecosystems. In the group of Christa Testerink (Plant Physiology – PPH), we want to find out how plants in the wild cope with salt stress and how to apply that knowledge to improve agriculture.  

We identified two genes that are salt-responsive and are involved with the floral transition in Arabidopsis. Using CRISPR we targeted the promoter and the coding sequences of these genes and created various mutants. Next, we want to quantify morphological differences and determine which floral pathways are deregulated in these plants by qPCR. Besides phenotyping we aim to use CRISPR to further dissect which regulatory regions/DNA motifs/cis­-elements are responsible for the salt-dependent expression of these genes.  

In short, are you looking for an MSc. thesis/internship project that focusses on plant development/physiology, gene regulation and CRISPR technology? Simply contact us at PPH in Dutch or English by sending an email to joram.dongus@wur.nl or check our website: rootsinsalt.com 


  • Phenotyping: Quantifying root and shoot growth parameters .
  • CRISPR cloning
  • Selecting alleles made with CRISPR
  • Data analysis: ImageJ/Fiji, R
  • Genotyping and plant propagation
  • qPCR


MSc thesis/internship for student with basic lab skills and an interest in plant responses to abiotic stress. No specific courses required to apply.