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Impact of Fe-availability on the gut microbiome of Spodoptora litoralis

The Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) is funded by the German Excellence Initiative. JSMC is an ambitious Graduate School with over 150 doctoral researchers who are educated in a structured, interdisciplinary training program based on top-level fundamental research. It conceptionally combines different research areas to a comprehensive picture of microbial communication (www.jsmc.uni-jena.de). Institutes at five faculties of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, six non-university research institutes as well as 12 partner companies are participating in this cutting-edge research and training program.
The Graduate School of Excellence ‘JSMC’ invites applications for a
Doctoral Researcher Position (Ref.No. MPI-CE-113/2015)
to conduct research on the project:

Impact of Fe-availability on the gut microbiome of Spodoptora litoralis
Chemical factors controlling the composition of microbial communities in the gut of the lepidopteran Spodoptera littoralis will be studied. Iron chelators, such as 8-hydroxyquinoline-2-carboxylic acid (8-HQA) produced by the insect’s gut tissue control the composition of the microbial consortia. Insects that lack 8-HQA may use unknown chelators as control elements which will be identified by using mass spectrometry and Fe-isotopes. The same compounds also reprogram members of the microbiome, especially Clostridia , causing them to release novel proteins into the gut lumen. Proteins will be identified and their function investigated. The induction phenomenon will be studied by LC/MS using proteomics/metabolomics. Transcript profiling of relevant microbial cultures ( Clostridia ) will give information on the type and function of the induced proteins.

More project details here:

We expect:
  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Natural Sciences chemistry or biochemistry. Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
  • desirable methodological skills: Protein biochemistry and molecular biology
  • high motivation and interest to join one of the interdisciplinary research areas of JSMC
  • creativity and interest to shape your own thesis project
  • an integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in the lively JSMC Community
  • very good communication skills in English (instruction language at JSMC)
We offer:
  • a highly communicative atmosphere within a scientific network providing top-level research facilities
  • a doctoral researcher position funded for three years
  • a comprehensive mentoring program with supervision by a team of advisors
  • a top-level PhD training program with courses in state-of-the-art research technologies and soft skills
  • Jena – the German City of Science 2008: a young and lively town with dynamic business activities, successful scientific centers of innovation and a vibrant cultural scene around the famous Friedrich Schiller University
Friedrich Schiller University Jena is an equal opportunity employer.
The application procedure takes place exclusively online via the JSMC website:


Please acquaint yourself with the open PhD projects and the application process described on this website.
Selected applicants will be invited to the JSMC Recruitment Meeting in Jena, Germany, on May 11th-13th, 2015. Awarding decisions will be made shortly thereafter, allowing the projects to start immediately.

Application deadline: March 13th, 2015 

Contact detail

How to apply:
Online: https://www.uni-jena.de/jsmc_online_application/
Send application to

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Thüringen)
Working place
07743 Jena
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Chemistry