1 Postdoc position at MPI for Biology Tuebingen, Germany

Postdoctoral Researcher

Job Offer from April 11, 2024

1 Postdoc position at MPI for Biology Tuebingen, Germany

“The role of mini-chromosomes in adaptive evolution of the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae

The group “Adaptive evolution of filamentous plant pathogens” of Dr. Thorsten Langner at the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tuebingen, Germany is seeking a postdoctoral researcher.

Research: Plant pathogens constantly coevolve with their host plants to establish infection, which can have dramatic effect on crop yield and food security. Certain regions of pathogen genomes evolve at high rates to continuously overcome the plant immune system and manipulate developmental processes in the host plant. This enables rapid adaptation of virulence effector proteins to diverse host genotypes or species and ultimately leads to disease. One driver of adaptive evolution are genome rearrangements that can lead to copy number variations which further facilitate high evolutionary rates and affect the expression of virulence related proteins. An extreme case of large-scale structural variations in the genome of the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae are variable mini- chromosomes. These are chromosomes that exist only in some individuals but are absent in others. We have recently discovered a diverse set of mini-chromosomes in wheat- and rice-infecting M. oryzae isolates that contribute to horizontal transfer of genetic material and intra- and inter-chromosomal recombination events. In the ERC-funded project “PANDEMIC”, we study how these chromosomes emerge, what impact horizontal chromosome transfer has on genome evolution, and what effect genome rearrangements have on the virulence of the blast fungus using a multidisciplinary approach including dry and wet lab approaches.

Who are we looking for? We are seeking a motivated individual with a PhD in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry or microbiology. Previous laboratory experience in microbiology and plant science or bioinformatics is an advantage. You should be curious, a team player, and have a great interest in plant-pathogen coevolution, genome dynamics, and plant immunity. Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

What do we offer? The Max Planck Institute for Biology offers outstanding working conditions and state-of-the-art research infrastructure in an international and interdisciplinary research environment. The postdoc position is fully funded for initially 2 years (TVöD E13 100%) with possibility of extension. The successful candidate will be integrated in a diverse and international community of Postdocs and PhD students, a wide range of training in professional and transferable skills, career development support and excellent mentoring.

We will start reviewing applications immediately and until a suitable candidate is appointed.

For more information about our group and the project visit our website: Group website: https://www.bio.mpg.de/302180/thorsten-langner Institute website: https://www.bio.mpg.de/2923/en

If you have questions regarding the project, please contact me: thorsten.langner@tuebingen.mpg.de

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