Postdoc in Plant-Animal Interactions (USA) ~

3 de agosto de 2014

Postdoc in Plant-Animal Interactions (USA)

*Plant-Animal Interactions*: The Dearing lab at the University of Utah
invites applications for a postdoctoral fellow to participate in a study to
understand the co-evolution of mammalian herbivores and plant defensive
compounds.  This collaborative project will investigate the role of a
subfamily of detoxification enzymes with respect to dietary strategy.
Few mammalian herbivores are capable of dietary specialization.  Our
preliminary data suggest the cytochrome P450 2B subfamily is critical in
the biotransformation of plant secondary compounds, particularly terpenes.
These enzymes may play a key role in dietary specialization since substrate
specificity and catalytic efficiency of CYP2B enzymes can be greatly
affected by small changes in amino acid sequence. The change of even a
single amino acid, particularly in critical regions such as a substrate
recognition site, can have notable effects on metabolism of substrates.
Thus, the structure and copy number of CYP2B genes may be key in an
herbivore’s ability specialize on a terpene-rich diet.  The future work
consists of characterizing and comparing the amino acid sequences of CYP2B
enzymes of specialist and generalist woodrats (*Neotoma spp.*) and possibly
other terpene feeders. We are currently sequencing the genome of *Neotoma
lepida* with assembly expected by October 1, 2014.  The successful
applicant will use this new genomic information to amplify and sequence
CYP2B genes from a variety of wild mammalian species, compare predicted
protein sequence with respect to degree of dietary specialization, and
characterize the function of the proteins purified from heterologous
expression systems to determine the structural basis of functional
differences. This research is a collaborative project with Dr. James
Halpert, UConn and provides possibilities for interactions with his
research group.

For more information on previous research, see:

The ideal candidate will have experience accessing and evaluating genomic
data, using molecular techniques, and have an interest in addressing
questions of molecular evolution, molecular ecology or plant-animal
interactions.  Animal collection fieldwork is possible. The candidate
should have at least one first authored publication in press.  The Dearing
lab provides a strong training and career development environment for
candidates interested in academic positions.  Teaching experience
(Mammalogy) is a possibility for interested candidates.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received through September 1st,
2014.  The anticipated start date is October 15, 2014. Please send a C.V.,
statement of research interests that includes career goals (1-2 pgs), pdfs
of papers, and contact information (emails and phone numbers) for at least
3 professional references to Dr. Denise Dearing, care of Jael Malenke,; please put
“Postdoctoral Applicant CYP2B” in the Subject Line.

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