A postdoctoral position is available in the labs of Dr. Bill Underwood at the USDA-ARS in Fargo, ND and Dr. Robert Brueggeman in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University, Fargo.
The postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for conducting research to identify genes and discover mechanisms underlying resistance to the broad host-range fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum using the model dicot host Arabidopsis thaliana. The successful candidate should have training in the areas of molecular plant pathology, molecular genetics and classical genetics and their application to investigate host resistance/susceptibility and host-pathogen interactions. Responsibilities include designing and critical analysis of laboratory, microscopy, greenhouse and growth chamber experiments to characterize resistance of Arabidopsis to S. sclerotiorum. This will include identification and validation of candidate resistance genes at loci identified by genome-wide association mapping, molecular and physiological characterization of resistance, and assessment of the impact of quantitative Sclerotinia resistance on plant fitness traits including seed yield. The appointment is for 12 months with additional time depending on satisfactory performance and funding.
Please apply online at the NDSU Employment Opportunities website at https://jobs.ndsu.edu/postings/9856
Please contact William Underwood at USDA-ARS Sunflower & Plant Biology Research Unit for any questions about the position.
1) Evaluate candidate Arabidopsis genes at loci discovered by genome-wide association mapping for involvement in resistance to Sclerotinia. This aspect of the research aims to identify specific plant genes that contribute to Sclerotinia resistance and characterize their functional role in defense.
2) Conduct physiological and molecular characterization of disease development in susceptible and partially resistant Arabidopsis accessions.
3) Assess the impact of quantitative Sclerotinia resistance on aspects of plant fitness and seed yield.
4) Interpret and analyze the data and publish results in peer-reviewed journals
Desired Work Experience in Addition to Formal Education/Training:
DNA and RNA extraction and amplification, recombinant DNA experience, genetic mapping, gene cloning and experience working with plant pathogens
Gene expression analysis including RNAseq and quantitative PCR
Microscopy experience including histochemical staining and tissue sectioning
Demonstrated experience with bioinformatics and statistical data analysis
Experience with manuscript preparation
Superior oral and written communication skills in English
Ability to work independently and as a member of a team are essential