Haz el doctorado en Suiza estudiando genética de plantas (con viajes frecuentes a Alemania y USA) ~ Bioblogia.net

10 de julio de 2020

Haz el doctorado en Suiza estudiando genética de plantas (con viajes frecuentes a Alemania y USA)

PhD position in plant evolutionary biology, University of Zurich.
University of Zurich, Dept. of systematic and Evolutionary Botany

RESEARCH PROJECT: Genetic basis of hornwort carbon-concentrating

Biophysical carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) operating at the
single-cell level have evolved independently in some eukaryotic algae and
a single lineage of land plants, the hornworts. An essential component
for an efficient biophysical CCM is a pyrenoid, which represents a
specialized compartment inside chloroplasts that mainly comprise the
CO2-fixing enzyme RuBisCO. Hornworts with pyrenoids fix significantly
more carbon than their relatives without pyrenoids. Given the repeated
gains and losses of pyrenoids in hornworts during the last 50 million
years, we may assume that their assembly is potentially controlled by a
few master regulators of eco-evolutionary relevance. In a joint effort,
we will combine comparative -omics with reverse genetics tools to study
the genetics, function, and molecular basis of pyrenoid-based CCM in
hornwort plastids under different environmental conditions. Guided by
ultrastructure-based monitoring of the pyrenoid assembly in hornworts,
we aim to identify the genetic toolkit of biophysical CCM in hornworts
through two interdependent approaches: First, we aim to predict candidate
CCM components in silico though a set of homology searches that compare
the hornwort gene set with algal CCM component. Second, we employ an
exploratory gene and protein (co)expression profiling of isolated plastids
collected under low vs. high CO2 concentrations and under flooding. A
strength of our experimental design is that we contrast up to three
pairs of pyrenoid bearing and pyrenoid lacking hornwort species. Finally,
we will investigate pyrenoid functionality under various environmental
conditions. Specifically, we aim to conduct localization and functional
validation analyses for a core set of genes discovered in our CCM gene
prediction approaches. These experiments are possible through our recent
advances to establish Anthoceros agrestis and other hornwort species as a
tractable model system. Together, our collaborative project will not only
allow a comparison of the mechanisms of pyrenoid assembly between algae
and hornworts, but also reveal general principles and species-specific
innovations in the evolution of carbon-concentrating plastids. Above that,
focusing on and understanding the basis of land plant CCM instead of
only the algal form could eventually contribute to efficiently engineer
pyrenoid assembly and boost photosynthetic efficiency of crops. Relevant
publications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-020-0618-2,

This project is founded (initially for three years) by the German National
Science Foundation (DFG) MadLand (https://madland.science/) program to
Peter Szovenyi and Susann Wicke. The project requires collaborative work
including frequent visits to Germany and to the USA (Fay-Wei Li`s lab
at Cornell).

The Dept. of Systematic Botany hosts research groups working on
the evolutionary and ecological drivers of biodiversity, on the
macroevolution of plants, on plant-insect interactions/pollination,
on the evolution of mating systems, hybridization and speciation. The
Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology hosts many groups working on plant
molecular and developmental biology, epigenetics, community genomics and
plant adaptation. Both institutes are housed in the beautiful Botanical
Gardens and host a diverse community of researchers in plant biology.

Ideal candidates will have an MSc in biology with a specialization in
evolution, developmental genetics and/or bioinformatics. This position
primarily involves reverse genetic, microscopy, gas exchange measurements
and bioinformatic work and requires advanced skills in handling, analyzing
and interpreting high-throughput next-generation sequencing data. Good
skills in assembling vectors, carrying out genetic transformations and
microscopy are also required. Previous experience with Chlamydomonas
pyrenoids is a plus but not necessary. In case not all these skills
are covered, the willingness to quickly acquire them is absolutely
necessary. The student will closely work together with the second
PhD student/postdoctoral associate in Germany on this grant. Students
should be willing to work both in the wet lab and in the office doing
computational work. The position is initially for three years. Selected
candidates will be enrolled in one of the two affiliated PhD schools in
evolution or plant sciences.

CLOSING DATE: The position is opened until filled, but all application
material including CV, a summary of research experience, a letter of
motivation, copies of relevant publications (published or submitted)
and names and contact information of three reference persons sent as
a single pdf file should be received by 31th July 2020 to ensure full
consideration. The position will start at the earliest possible date,
but it is negotiable (at the latest in September 2020). Candidates should
indicate in a cover letter when they could take up the position.

Please send all application material with the following subject line
“PhD_hornwort_pyrenoid” to: Peter Szovenyi, peter.szoevenyi@uzh.ch,
as a single pdf document. For enquiries please contact Peter Szovenyi

Peter Szovenyi
University of Zurich
Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (ISEB)
Zollikerstr 107
CH-8008 Zurich
Phone: (+41) 044 63 48440

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