Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC)

Postdoctoral position at Umeå Plant Science Centre - Molecular Regulation of Flowering and Phenology in Trees

Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology

Umeå, Sweden

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is one of the strongest research environments for basic plant research in Europe. Research at UPSC covers a wide range of disciplines in plant biology including ecology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology (see Our common goal is to understand the plants ability to adapt and acclimate to a changing world. A post doc position is open at the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, which is part of Umeå Plant Science Centre. We are looking for a highly motivated post doc to work within the project “Molecular Regulation of Flowering and Phenology in Trees” in Professor Ove Nilsson’s research group at UPSC.

For more information about the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology and UPSC visit

Project Description
Two of the defining characteristics of trees are their extended juvenile phases, lasting many years, when they are uncapable of flowering, and their long lifespans which means that they in colder parts of the world have to survive extreme climatic differences between the seasons. They adapt to this by tightly controlling their phenology, i.e. when they stop growing, set bud and develop winter hardiness in the fall and when they flush their buds in the spring.

Research in the Nilsson lab has shown that these different aspects of the tree growth strategy is controlled by homologs of the Arabidopsis FT gene, which in other plants is central for the regulation of flowering time, being a major component of the elusive “Florigen” signal. The PhD position will continue to build on research on the function and regulation of FT/TFL1-like genes in trees, mainly in hybrid aspen trees, but also taking advantage of parallel work in Arabidopsis thaliana. The lab has already developed a large set of tools, including transgenic trees where most of the relevant genes affecting expression and function have been modulated through overexpression or down-regulation using RNA interference and CRISPR-Cas9 modification. The lab has also developed extensive genomic tools to study global gene expression changes in the relevant mutant backgrounds. The goal is to understand the mechanisms for how trees know when to flower, and how the exact timing for bud set and bud flush is determined.

The postdoctoral fellow will work in the group of Professor Ove Nilsson, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is a Centre of Excellence in experimental plant biology, located in northern Sweden. The UPSC comprises approximately 200 researchers, from more than 40 countries. UPSC has excellent, world-class laboratories and associated facilities for genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microscopy, plant growth and genetic manipulation.

A PhD in plant molecular biology and/or cell biology, not older than 3 years. The applicant should be well acquainted with different molecular biology techniques. Documented experience in working with plants, as well as good knowledge of plant development is desirable. The candidate should have a good knowledge of English.

Place of work

Form of employment
Employment 2 years with the possibility of extension.


Starting date
According to agreement.

We welcome your application no later than 2019-06-30. Use the button ‘Apply via Recruiter’.

Contact person
Ove Nilsson,

Academic union representatives:

About the employer

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Ref SLU ua 2019.2.5.1-1730