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Postdoc position in “Crop Plants – Beneficial Microbes Interaction”

Postdoc position in “Crop Plants – Beneficial Microbes Interaction”
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at The University of Copenhagen is offering a 4-year Postdoc position within the project “A platform for efficient launching of plant beneficial bacterial products for climate resilient crop production (Bac4CroP)”.  We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher with an interest in a holistic approach to combine noninvasive and physiological phenotyping with functional approaches.

Project description
The Bac4CroP project is funded for 5 years by the Danish Innovation Fund and coordinated by the company Christian Hansen (CHR). Partners are the Danish Technological Institute and the sections Crop Sciences and Microbial Ecology and Biotechnologyas well as the Computational Biodiscovery group of the Natural History Museum of Denmark from the University of Copenhagen. According to recent estimates, agricultural production needs to be increased by 50% till 2050. The role of plant beneficial bacteria (PBB) in increasing crop yield and yield. stability has been recognized. The use of microbial inoculants for improved crop production is an emerging biotechnology and several products are on the market. However, for current products, a major challenge is their variable performance under different field conditions. Consequently, the overall goal of the current project is to establish and apply a Knowledge, Design and Test platform (KDT-platform), which will create new knowledge and combine knowledge in new ways to increase the speed and success rate of launching new plant beneficial bacteria (PBB) as innovatiove, and robust products for sustainable agriculture that can spur the green conversion from classical pesticides and fertilizer by contributing to improved crop yield and yield stability within agriculture. Specific Objectives are: (1) To close the greenhouse to field gap by establishing predictive plant biosignatures. Robust plant bio-signatures will be established for early prediction of plant growth promoting effects of CHR lead strains. Plant bio-signatures are combinations of characteristics induced or modulated by PBBs such as gene expression, enzyme activities, root architecture, and root-associated bacterial community composition. (2) To improve the robustness of PBB products by developing microbial consortia. Findings from the KDT-platform will guide the design of microbial consortia to increase the robustness of added lead strain (LS) performance. (3) To enable the selection of improved lead strains for development of 2nd generation products. LS improved by natural selection will be tested in the KDTplatform to identify 2nd generation products.

The successful postdoc will be placed at the Section Crop Sciences of the University of Copenhagen and have a key role in the project and responsible to coordinate the field sampling as well as the coordination and execution of the experiments in the automnated greenhouse facility PhenoLab. Additional tasks will be the coordination and performance of physiological, biochemical, molecular and microbiome analyses. Thus big data sets are collected for determination of (i) plant signatures predictive for beneficial PBB effects and (ii) core rhizosphere microbiomes representing microorganisms interacting with LS when these have beneficial effects on plants. Data will be transferred both from greenhouse experiments and field trial experiments to the bioinfornatic scientists. The predictive value of plant bio-signatures  under consideration of the soil type, water status and temperature will be verified in short term greenhouse experiments and ultimateky in field trials.

Qualification requirements

  • A PhD degree in plant science, biology, agronomy, crop physiology, or equivalent
  • Documentation of at least 2 years of successful scientific research experience as postdoc with knowledge in the fields of plant microbe interaction, plant physiology and molecular biology
  • Experience with phenotyping and image analysis is an advantage
  • Good organizational skills and a detail-oriented structured work approach
  •  Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

More information to be found here: https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/?show=148123

Location: 
University of Copenhagen, DK
Deadline: 
24/10/2018

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