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Ph.D. positions - Plant signal transduction and abiotic stress response

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A PhD student position is available at the Department of Plant Systems Biology in the frame of the SFB924 "Molecular mechanisms regulating yield and yield stability in plants." at the LifeScience campus of the Technische Universität München in Freising-Weihenstephan.

Many growth environments have a negative impact on plant growth and yield since they expose plants to abiotic stresses such as cold or heat stress, salt stress and dought stress. For optimal plant growth and ultimately optimal yield, plants need to be able to grow in these adverse environments. The environmental changes associated wtih global warming make it even more pressing to understand the responses of plants to adverse environments.

In the advertised Ph.D. project, we are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that control plant growth in abiotic stress conditions in response to the plant hormone gibberellin (GA). GAs have been implicated in various stress responses and here we seek to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the interplay between this plant hormone and cold responses, also as a model for other abiotic stresses. To this end, we have generated already a comprehensive gene expression dataset from the plant model species Arabidopsis thaliana and the crop plants tomato and barley explosed to cold stress in the presence and absence of the GA hormone. Through data analysis we have identified a range of novel cold response elements that we now seek to analyze at the molecular level.

We are seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student to integrate genetic, physiological and cell biological analyses and to identify novel players in cold and other abiotic stress responses in plants. The laboratory has expertise in a very borad range of cell biological techniques as well as molecular biology and physiology approaches. The project is also well suited for applicants with an interest in next generation sequencing data analyses, bioinformatics or biomathematics.

The position will remain open until filled.

The Department of Plant Systems Biology has direct access to state of the art technology for cell biological analysis, biochemical analysis, next generation sequencing etc. and possesses all techniques and equipment required for plant research. The laboratory also has strong ties with the Plant Bioinformatics unit located at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

If you are interested in the position, please send a letter of motivation and a CV with at least two names of referees to: claus.schwechheimer@wzw.tum.de.

For reference see our web sites:



Or the following publications:

Functional Diversification within the Family of B-GATA Transcription Factors through the Leucine-Leucine-Methionine Domain.
Behringer C, Bastakis E, Ranftl QL, Mayer KF, Schwechheimer C.
Plant Physiol. 2014 Sep;166(1):293-305.

Convergence of auxin and gibberellin signaling on the regulation of the GATA transcription factors GNC and GNL in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Richter R, Behringer C, Zourelidou M, Schwechheimer C.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 6;110(32):13192-7.

Gibberellin regulates PIN-FORMED abundance and is required for auxin transport-dependent growth and development in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Willige BC, Isono E, Richter R, Zourelidou M, Schwechheimer C.
Plant Cell. 2011 Jun;23(6):2184-95. doi: 10.1105/tpc.

Gibberellin signaling in plants - the extended version.
Schwechheimer C.
Front Plant Sci. 2012 Jan 4;2:107. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2011.00107.

The GATA-type transcription factors GNC and GNL/CGA1 repress gibberellin signaling downstream from DELLA proteins and PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTORS.
Richter R, Behringer C, Müller IK, Schwechheimer C.
Genes Dev. 2010 Sep 15;24(18):2093-104.


Contact detail

How to apply:
Please email your application to:

Send application to
Prof. Dr. Claus Schwechheimer
Department of Plant Systems Biology
Technische Universität München - Weihenstephan
Emil-Ramann-Str. 4
85354 FreisingGermany
Email: claus.schwechheimer@wzw.tum.de
Phone: +49 (0)8161 712880
Fax: +49 (0)8161 712886Mobile: +49 (0)151 19602560
Speaker of the SFB924http://www.sfb924.wzw.tum.de

Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Bayern)
Working place
85354 Freising
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology