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PhD Position: Molecular analysis of fatty acid export from plastids

Workscope: Research Associate

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Advertisement of a Vacancy at Saarland University
 
At the Faculty of Life Sciences, Institute for Plant Biology - Center for Human- and Molecular Biology, the following position is vacant:
 
Job Offer: Scientific Assistant / Doctoral (PhD)-Position
Place of Employment: Saarbrücken
Date of Employment: 01.02.2017
Volume of Employment: 50% of the collectively agreed working time
Duration of Employment: 3 years
 
Position Description: Molecular analysis of fatty acid export from plastids
Fatty acids (FAs) build the majority of cellular lipids, which are essential not only for membrane function, but also for growth and development of organisms. Since in plants FA synthesis occurs in plastids, transport to the ER for further lipid assembly is required (Li et al., 2016). The mode of plastid FA-export, however, was an open question until only recently we described FAX1 (fatty acid export 1). FAX1 is a novel membrane protein in the plastid inner envelope and mediates FA-export (Li et al., 2015). In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana FAX1 is crucial for biomass production, male fertility, and synthesis of FA-derived compounds such as lipids, ketone waxes or pollen cell walls. FAX1 belongs to a family of seven proteins: four are predicted to be in plastids, three most likely integrate into membranes of the secretory pathway. In the green microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we identified one member of each of these two subfamilies. In vertebrates, FAX relatives are mitochondrial membrane proteins with unknown biological function. Thus, this protein family represents a powerful tool not only to increase lipid/biofuel production in the green lineage, but also to explore novel transport systems with impact on mitochondrial dynamics in vertebrates.
The project aims to characterise FAX proteins in Arabidopsis and Chlamydomonas. Research should clarify their impact on cellular metabolism, in particular on FAs, lipids and FA/lipid-derived compounds (waxes, cutin, oxylipin hormones). A spotlight will be on synthesis of storage oils in seeds, i.e. the significance of FAX for oil synthesis. The structure/function correlation of FAX1 is completely novel. Thus, research will enable us to study plant-specific but also general aspects of a new intracellular FA-transport pathway. Evaluation of FAX topology, structure, and FA/lipid binding, functional characteristics as well as identification of interaction partners will help to describe the plastid FA-export pathway. Research covers techniques of modern Plant Molecular Biology and Physiology (mutant generation, ultrastructural analysis, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics), Cell Biology (in vivo GFP-targeting, protein-protein interaction) as well as Biochemistry and Functional Analysis of Membrane Proteins (purification protein complexes, functional assays).
References:
Li, N. et al. (2015), PLoS Biology 13(2): e1002053. doi:10.1371/journal. pbio.1002053; Li, N. et al. (2016), Trends Plant. Sci. 21, 145-158

Conditions for Employment:
Mandatory conditions for employment are:
Master or Diploma in Life Sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Cell Biology  or comparable subjects)
 
Applicants with the qualifications noted below will be preferred:
- knowledge and practical experience in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
- knowledge in Plant Physiology and/or Plant Cell Biology are beneficial
- very good command of English and/or German language
 
Work contract and salary will accord to the respective collective agreement, i.e. TV-L.
 
Saarland University aims to increase the number of women in this field. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply for this position.
 
Physically handicapped persons will be preferred in case equally qualified.
 
Please refer to reference W1126 in your application. Closing date for applications is 31.10.2016. Applications with the usual documents (letter of motivation, CV, list of publications, names of two potential references) shall be sent exclusively via email (philippar@lmu.de) as pdf-document in German or English language to:
 
Saarland University
Prof. Dr. Katrin Philippar
FR 8.3 - Institute for Plant Biology
Campus A 4 2
D-66123 Saarbrücken
 
Saarbrücken, 05.09.2016
 

Contact detail


How to apply:
Please refer to reference W1126 in your application. Closing date for applications is 31.10.2016. Applications with the usual documents (letter of motivation, CV, list of publications, names of two potential references) shall be sent exclusively via email (philippar@lmu.de) as pdf-document in German or English language to:
 
Send application to
Saarland University
Prof. Dr. Katrin Philippar
FR 8.3 - Institute for Plant Biology
Campus A 4 2
D-66123 Saarbrücken
e-mail: philippar@lmu.de
 

Job profile


Working hours
Full-Time
Contract duration
Temporary
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Region
Germany (Saarland)
Working place
66123 Saarbrücken
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Agricultural Sciences
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