Doctoral Researcher Position: The defensive roles of terpenoid resin in Norway spruce and the regulation of terpenoid biosynthesis
The defensive roles of terpenoid resin in Norway spruce and the regulation of terpenoid biosynthesis
Since resin in living trees is stored under pressure in ducts that rupture on enemy attack, it is hard to mimic realistically in in vitro experiments. For this reason, we have developed a stable genetic transformation system for Norway spruce ( Picea abies ) over the last several years and used it to modify resin composition for testing the function of resin in the living plant. By transformation with constructs resulting in constitutive over-expression or RNAi-driven suppression of terpene biosynthetic transcripts, we have created transgenic lines with altered terpene resin phenotypes. Manipulating the expression of specific isoprenyl diphosphate synthases that control the formation of different classes of terpenes allowed us to create spruce lines some with increased monoterpenes and others with decreased diterpenes with no major morphological differences from untransformed control lines. These now offer an ideal experimental system for testing the function of plant resin against enemies in a living tree.
We now plan to characterize these transgenic lines in detail to determine the chemical changes present, investigate the effects of altered resin content on herbivores and pathogens, and learn more about what factors control terpenoid biosynthesis. The goal is to understand more about the biological function of terpenoid resins in conifers and what regulates their formation.
- a Master’s degree (or equivalent allowing you to pursue a PhD degree) in Natural or Life Sciences. Research at ILRS is centred around “Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions”. Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
- experience in plant biochemistry and molecular biology
- interest in working with insects and fungi as well as plants
- high motivation to join one of the research areas of ILRS
- creativity and interest in shaping your own thesis project
- an integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in our lively community
- very good communication skills in English
- a top-level research environment
- efficient supervision by a team of advisors
- a comprehensive mentoring programme
- courses in state-of-the-art technologies and soft skills
- strong communication and interaction between the involved institutions
- Jena – City of Science: innovative business activities, successful scientific centres and a vibrant cultural scene around the famous Friedrich Schiller University
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gershenzon, PI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator, email@example.com
The application process is handled exclusively online. Please acquaint yourself with the scientific projects offered on our website and thoroughly follow the instructions for the online application process:
Deadline for application: Apr 14, 2016.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend a recruitment meeting in Jena (envisaged date: Jun 09-10, 2016).
While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: ILRS_02/2016
Online Application at: https://www.uni-jena.de/jsmc_online_application/
About International Leibniz Research School for Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions
The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute - in cooperation with the Friedrich-Schiller-University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are offering an international graduate program. The International Leibniz Research School (ILRS Jena) gives doctoral researchers the possibility to prepare for their PhD exam in an...More about International Leibniz Research School for Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions