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Posted: 19. 8. 2020

PhD Student Position in Metal Plant Pathogen

Institute of Plant Molecular Biology

Plant biophysics and biochemistry

Employment contract

Researcher

R1

Fixed-term

Full-time

1. 12. 2020

1. 10. 2020

Job description:

The project is titled ‘The role of trace elements in plant defence responses to pathogens and their interaction’ under supervision of Dr. Filis Morina and Prof. Dr. Hendrik Küpper.

Research project:
Trace elements are essential for plant growth and development, and for plant-environment interactions. They are involved in plant metabolism as enzyme cofactors (e.g. Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn), in redox reactions and electron transport (Cu, Fe, Mn), gene expression and transcription factors (Zn). The project aims to elucidate the mechanisms of metal-regulated plant responses to biotic stress such as fungal pathogens using different model plants. To achieve this, plants will be grown under metal deficient optimal and metal excess conditions and exposed to pathogens under simulated environmental conditions. Plants will be grown under hydroponic conditions. Fast responses to the pathogens will be monitored in vivo by measurements of element distribution and chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics by imaging techniques. Analyses of metabolome, metalloproteome and transcriptome are planned as well. Finally, candidate metal-regulated genes which promote plant immunity should be proposed.
The prospective PhD student will be able to learn various molecular biology (biochemistry, biophysics and genetics) and plant physiology techniques including metalloproteomic analysis by HPLC-DAD/ICP-MS of proteins, qPCR, QISH, microscopy techniques, gas exchange by IRGA, chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics, and analysis of antioxidative metabolism.

Requirements:

Master's degree

Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Microbiology or related field

Languages:

Excellent

Other requirements:

We are looking for a motivated student interested in multidisciplinary plant sciences including experimental and bioinformatic approaches. Qualified candidates holding (or about to obtain) a Msc or equivalent degree in Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Microbiology or related field are encouraged to apply. Previous experience in biochemistry, biophysics, plant pathology and molecular biology is an advantage. Furthermore, the candidate should have some theoretical knowledge and practical experience in at least one of the following areas: plant physiology, plant pathology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics. The candidate should have a good knowledge of spoken and written English to be able to fluently communicate with the team and to write scientific manuscripts for publication in international journals. Good communication skills and teamwork abilities are required.

Benefits:

• 5 weeks of holiday
• Friendly international working environment
• Subsidised lunch
• Benefits from Social Fund
• Support of leisure time activities

Additional information:

Other comments:

Workplace:
The Department of Plant Biophysics and Biochemistry (PBB, headed by Prof. Hendrik Küpper) is part of the Institute of Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB) within the BC CAS, https://www.bc.cas.cz/en/). The department was recently awarded a 4.9 Mio € grant from the Czech Ministry of Education with co-financing from the EU (project ends in September 2022), which now allows for its expansion incl. additional team members and provides excellent facilities to perform cutting-edge research, including high-end research instruments (e.g. ICP-sfMS, µXRF). One expanding research direction within the Department is understanding the cross-talk mechanisms between metals and biotic stress response, and manipulation of nutrient availability to increase plant immunity to pathogens from the cell to whole organism level.

The accepted applicant will be enrolled in PhD studies at the University of South Bohemia, Department of Experimental Plant Biology.
https://www.prf.jcu.cz/en/structure/academic-departments/department-of-experimental-plant-biology.html

Conditions of contract:
Employment can start on 1 December 2020, or later depending on mutual agreement. The contract will be initially for one month of probation period. Afterwards, if successful in the probation period, the candidate will take a University Entrance Exam in January before officially enrolling in PhD studies. The contract may be extended for up to four years total in which the PhD should be completed. Besides the project, the student will be financed by the University as well through a PhD fellowship that is granted for up to four years. The Korolid project, which adds a salary to the fellowship at the beginning of this PhD, ends on 30 Sep 2022 or at the latest in June 2023 if extension is granted. After this period, the funding will depend on new projects/grants to be applied for by the Department.

The BC CAS is a holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award. Our selection process is transparent, open, non-discriminating and fair. For more information about the researchers recruitment policy at our institution, see www.bc.cas.cz/en/about-us/employment/.

How to apply:
Applicants are requested to submit all bellow listed documents and information as one complete PDF file via the "REPLY" button below.
- A cover letter (max. 1000 words) explaining why the candidate believes to be suitable for this post
- A detailed CV including lists of publications if any, other achievements and previous professional experience
- Academic transcripts and diplomas (scanned copies)
- A list of at least two referees

Evaluation procedure and Announcement of results:
The position will be filled once the evaluation committee has found a well suitable candidate. We will contact only potentially successful candidates and invite them min. 3 days in advance for an interview to be held as a Skype videoconference, and candidates will be informed of the result max. 1 month after the interview.