A post doctoral research associate is needed for an NSF/NIFA funded project awarded to North Dakota State University and the USDA-ARS in Fargo ND. The post-doc will be responsible for conducting research on the host –pathogen molecular interactions occurring between barley (Hordeum vulgare) and Pyrenophora teres f. teres (net form net blotch pathogen) focusing on the cloning, validation, and functional characterization of genes/proteins involved in virulence. The successful candidate must be well-trained in the areas of molecular plant pathology, molecular genetics and classical genetics especially in regard to fungal genetics, pathogen virulence, host-pathogen interactions, and proteinaceous effector biology. Responsibilities include design and critical analysis of laboratory, microscopy, and greenhouse experiments involving the most up to date genetic, genomic, and molecular techniques. This will include genetic, genomic, and cellular biological evaluation of the molecular mechanisms involved in proteinaceous effector mode of action and will require extensive use of bioinformatics tools and software. The appointment is for 12 months with additional time depending on satisfactory performance.
Please apply online using the NDSU Employment Opportunities website at http://jobs.ndsu.edu/postings/9508
Please contact Tim Friesen (firstname.lastname@example.org) before applying with any questions about the position.
1) Use biparental and natural populations of Pyrenophora teres f. teres
in conjunction with biparental mapping and genome wide association study (GWAS)
analysis respectively to identify effector candidate genes important in net
form net blotch (NFNB) disease.
Phenotype bi-parental and natural P. teres f. teres mapping populations on diverse barley lines that differ for resistance/susceptibility.
Use mapping and QTL analysis software to identify genomic regions harboring gene(s) associated with virulence.
Use full genome sequences for natural populations of P. teres f. teres to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertion deletion, and presence absence variation markers across the genome.
Use markers in conjunction with phenotyping to conduct genome wide association study (GWAS) analysis using the latest software to identify marker trait associations.
Identify candidate effector genes underlying both QTL and marker trait association genomic regions.
2) Clone and verify candidate effector genes important in virulence, followed by the functional characterization of the proteins including mode of action studies. Some candidate genes have already been identified and prioritized with two genes having been preliminarily validated. Characterization of these genes/proteins and their interactions will be the highest priority projects.
Develop tools for the site directed disruption of genes to show change in phenotype due to loss of function.
Use heterologous expression in yeast and bacteria and gain of function transformation into P. teres f. teres to validate effectors as well as characterize the function of the candidate genes.
Use bioinformatic tools to characterize the evolution and phylogeny of each validated gene in the natural population including characterizing selection pressure on each gene.
Collect RNAseq data from in planta time points and evaluate expression patterns for effector genes as well as other affected genes
3) Interpret and analyze the data and publish results in peer-reviewed journals.
Analyze experimental data and write progress reports
Present the results in professional meetings
Prepare manuscripts and submit them to refereed journals for publication
Required Work Experience in Addition to Formal Education/Training:
-Gene cloning, gene expression, protein purification, western blotting and protein tagging and localization studies.
-DNA and RNA extraction and amplification, recombinant DNA experience, quantitative PCR, genetic mapping, gene cloning and experience working with plant pathogens
-Demonstrated experience with bioinformatics and statistical data analysis
-Experience with peer reviewed manuscript preparation and publication
-Superior oral and written communication skills in English
-Ability to work independently and as a member of a team are essential