John Innes Centre (JIC)

Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Lab)

John Innes Centre

Norwich, United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Lab)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on a collaborative project between the laboratories of Professor Anne Osbourn (John Innes Centre) and Dr Yang Bai (Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing).

This project is funded by the John Innes Centre – Chinese Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence in Plant and Microbial Science Alliance (CEPAMS). The Postdoctoral Researcher will be based at the John Innes Centre but will also visit Dr Bai’s lab at IGDB to carry out key aspects of this work relating to microbiome analysis.

The role:

Building on recently published work from the Osbourn and Bai labs (‘A specialized metabolic network selectively modulates Arabidopsis root microbiota’ Science 10 May 2019:Vol. 364, Issue 6440, eaau6389), the successful candidate will investigate the impact of the environment on production of host metabolites that sculpt root microbial communities. Specifically, they will:

1) Use available in silico transcriptome resources to investigate the expression of Arabidopsis biosynthetic gene clusters in roots in response to different abiotic and biotic stresses and verify the effects of different environmental conditions on gene expression experimentally by qPCR. The impact of different environmental stresses on root microbial communities in wild type Arabidopsis will be established by root microbiome sequencing. The impact of mutation/overexpression of triterpene pathway genes on root microbiota establishment and plant fitness under different environmental conditions will then be investigated.

2) Carry out in vitro tests of the effects of purified Arabidopsis root triterpenes on the growth of representative bacterial strains cultured from the Arabidopsis soil microbiota and evaluate the effects of different microbial strains on plant growth and development.

3) Investigate the impact of different triterpenes (avenacins) on root microbiome establishment in oat using a suite of available thoroughly characterised avenacin pathway mutants. These experiments will reveal the role of the avenacin pathway in regulating oat root microbiota and enable comparisons to be made with findings for Arabidopsis.

The ideal candidate:

The post holder will work independently and ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements.

The successful applicant will have a PhD in plant biology or microbiology and extensive experience of plant and/or microbial genetics and molecular biology. Experience of plant stress biology, and/or microbiome analysis are desirable. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post available until 31 March 2021.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or quoting reference 1003704.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The closing date for applications will be 27 June 2019.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.