Postdoc: South Africa. Association Mapping in Potato ~

21 de mayo de 2013

Postdoc: South Africa. Association Mapping in Potato

Postdoctoral position available in the Department of Genetics,
Stellenbosch University (20 May 2013)

A postdoctoral position is available in the Molecular Plant and Animal
Research Group, Department of Genetics, Stellenbosch University with
the focus on "Association mapping in Potato for advancement of Marker
Assisted Selection for specifically Potato Virus Y disease resistance
in South Africa". This project is a collaborative effort with Agrocorp
and Tubertek South Africa.

Breeding for enhanced cultivars in potato is a necessary, but time
consuming process encumbered by the polyploid, heterozygous, non-inbred
and clonal nature of the crop. With the sequencing and publishing of the
potato genome in 2011 and associated marker development [mainly of
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers] the potential for
molecular breeding in the crop has been enhanced. The development of an
8300 SNP array with genome-wide marker coverage attests to this.

Disease resistance is one of the main breeding aims for many crops, as
it is for potatoes. The nature of this resistance can vary from simple,
Mendelian, single gene, vertical resistance to more complex, multi-gene
(quantitative traits), horizontal resistance. Although work has been
done on many single genes, quantitative trait loci (QTL) work is a
laborious process, which in the past mainly relied on the creation of
segregating mapping families. Quantitative variation is however proposed
to be a more durable form of resistance as is has been shown that
pathogens could potentially more easily overcome single gene resistance.

During the past decade, association mapping, commonly applied in human-
and livestock genetics, has shown greater promise and power for the
genomic mapping of complex quantitative traits in plants as compared to
traditional linkage mapping.

It is the aim of this study to combine the potential and power of
association mapping to identify genetic markers (SNPs) showing
association with phenotypic variance mostly related to disease traits
(specifically to potato virus Y) in order to expedite the process of
marker assisted selection in this species for growth under South African
conditions. To this effect we will make use of the recently published
and developed genome sequence and SNP Infinium array developed by the
SOLCAP community.

The successful candidate will primarily be responsible for:
1) Phenotypic evaluations, SNP data analysis and association mapping of
   potato cultivars in terms of Potato Virus Y resistance.
2) Identifying a set of markers associated with PVY resistance (known
   and novel QTL).
3) Development of robust marker assay to test for associated phenotypes
   in South African cultivars.
4) Advancement of marker assisted breeding of PVY resistance in South
   African potato breeding.

Minimum requirements:
PhD with specialization in association mapping or any closely related
discipline. Candidates should have proficiency in the relevant software
packages, and experience with handling and analysing large scale SNP
data. Experience within the field of potato genetics in general and potato
virus studies in particular would serve as a strong recommendation. The
ideal candidate should also have proven project management experience
and ability to set deadlines and meet milestones.

This position is available for 3 years and commencement of duties is
set for September 2013.

Interested researchers are requested to send their CV including details
of at least 2 references to Prof. Rouvay Roodt-Wilding at

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