King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

PhD position in ‘Molecular Genetics of Nonhost Resistance in Barley’

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and talented PhD student to join the Cereal Genetics and Genomics group (Prof. Simon Krattinger) at KAUST. Our research focuses on the genetic and molecular characterization of durable disease resistance in wheat and barley. Our work combines innovative approaches in genomics, molecular biology, and phytopathology to unravel the basis of quantitative host and nonhost resistance to rust fungi. Our mission is to contribute to cutting-edge research of high impact as well as to translate basic science into better crops.

 

Task

Our group recently identified the first nonhost resistance genes against cereal rusts (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-019-0545-2). In this work, we show that orthologous lectin receptor kinases from cultivated barley and a wild barley relative confer quantitative resistance against adapted as well as non-adapted rust species.

The role of this PhD position is to further characterize the molecular function of these two receptor kinases by using a genetic approach. In particular, we will use mutagenesis to identify signaling components of the two receptor kinases. The availability of two orthologous genes, a collection of adapted and non-adapted rusts, and valuable genetic material provide a unique system to unravel the molecular details of this host-pathogen interaction.

 

Requirements

We are seeking an outstanding young scientist who has recently been awarded a MSc. degree in genetics, molecular biology, plant biology, or equivalent. Applicants must have a strong and demonstrated background in experimental molecular biology. Basic experience in bioinformatics and pathology are preferable.

 

Offer

We offer a friendly, international, dynamic and team-oriented scientific environment in a young research group at a young university. In particular, this position offers to work at the interface of modern molecular biology, genetics, and breeding. Details about the KAUST PhD program can be found here: https://www.kaust.edu.sa/en/study/phd-program. For more information about living and working at KAUST, please refer to the University website: https://www.kaust.edu.sa/en/live

 

Contact

For questions relating to the position, kindly contact Prof. Simon Krattinger, simon.krattinger@kaust.edu.sa. Send your application as single PDF-File by e-mail. Applications should include: full CV, a statement of research interests not exceeding one page, and three academic references. Position start date is April 1st 2020.

 

About KAUST

KAUST is an international graduate-level, merit-based research university dedicated to advancing scientific and technological education and research, acting as a catalyst for innovation, economic development and social prosperity in the region and the world. Our research strives to enhance the welfare of society with a special focus on four areas of global significance, food, water, energy and the environment. Based near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, KAUST has attracted top-notch faculty and staff from all over the world, with more than 80 nations represented on campus. Expats are very well looked after, with packages including tax-free salary, relocation, accommodation and various additional incentives.


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Position

PhD position in ‘Molecular Genetics of Nonhost Resistance in Barley’