Mechanical Bases of Cell to Cell Adhesion in Plants

Mechanical Bases of Cell to Cell Adhesion in Plants

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

Umeå, Sweden

A two year post-doctoral fellowship is available at Umeå Plant Science Centre in the Verger group (https://www.upsc.se/stephane_verger), from July 2019, to work on the biophysics of cell to cell adhesion in plants, using micromechanial tools, 3D image analysis and computational simulation.

The applicant should have a background in physics/biophysics or biology but with extensive experience with biophysical approaches.

Project description:

All living organisms experience physical stress, and notably tensions, as tissues grow. Adhesion between cells provides resistance to such forces and maintains the integrity of the organism. In turn, adhesion can be modulated, e.g. to promote cell migration in animals or organ shedding in plants. The relation between tension and adhesion is a fundamental question in the development of multicellular organisms, yet it remains largely under-studied in plants.

The project builds on previous work on the genetics (Verger et al., 2016, Development, doi: 10.1242/dev.132308) and mechanics (Verger et al., 2018, eLife, doi: 10.7554/eLife.34460) of cell adhesion in plants. Here we will further study the mechanical bases of cell to cell adhesion in plants using micromechanial tools such as Atomic Force Microscopy and micro-extensometers (Robinson et al., 2017, doi: 10.1105/tpc.17.00753), 3D image analysis and computational simulation.

The long term goal of the project is to uncover the many implications of cell to cell adhesion in plant development, from the bases of plant multicellularity, to the integration of supracellular mechanical cues in the molecular processes behind plant morphogenesis.

Qualifications:

The successful candidate must have obtained a doctoral degree no longer than 3 years ago.

The applicant should have a background in physics/biophysics or biology but with experience with biophysical approaches. Experience with Atomic Force Microscopy or other biophysical tools, as well as computational simulations will be strongly appreciated. Experience working with confocal microscopy and 3D image analysis are desirable.

Furthermore, good oral and writing skills in English are essential qualifications. The successful candidate is expected to have good social skills and the ability to do research independently, as well as in a team.

Environment:

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC https://www.upsc.se/ ) is a centre of experimental plant biology in Umeå, Sweden. UPSC provides excellent facilities for experimental plant science. There are about 180 persons from 40 different countries working at UPSC. Umeå is a vibrant university town and the cultural capital of northern Sweden with good access to Stockholm and the rest of the world. Umeå also provides close access to outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, kayaking, etc.

Application:

Interested applicants should send a CV, a motivation letter (1 page max.), a summary of previous research achievements (1 page max.) and names of 3 referees to stephane.verger@slu.se

Deadline:

We welcome your application no later than 15.06.2019.

For more information contact Stéphane Verger (stephane.verger@slu.se)

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Mechanical Bases of Cell to Cell Adhesion in Plants