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PostDoc project: Genomic Selection, Genome Wide Association Studies, Plant Breeding


PostDoc project: Genomic Selection, Genome Wide Association Studies, Plant Breeding



Resistant cultivars are cornerstones of successful and sustainable agriculture. Growing cultivars being resistant to diseases allows reducing the use of pesticides which is increasingly requested for environmental, political, social and market-based reasons. The aim of plant breeding is to make such cultivars available. However, breeding of certain crop species requires long and elaborate selection processes.

Modern breeding and selection methods have the potental to increase the selection efficiency. In the Agroscope plant breeding programs for apple trees, wheat and grapes, marker-assisted selection (MAS) has become routine for a few traits, mostly monogenetically controlled resistances to pathogens. However, for many important polygenetically controlled traits (e.g. quality traits), molecular markers are not available. Genomic selection (GS) could complement MAS and help to increase genetic gains in apple, which is one of the most important fruit crops in Switzerland and worldwide.

Agroscope has access to germplam collections of several crops. Such plant material can be used to find associations between traits and molecular markers by Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). The so identifed markers can then be used in MAS in the Agroscope breeding programmes.

A PostDoc position is available for a highly motivated scientist with a broad background in biostatistics. The successful candidate will join the Agroscope group “Breeding Research” in Wädenswil.



-  In collaboration with national and international partners development and validation of statistical models for GS in apple (fruit traits)

-  Support of a PhD student involved in the same project

-  Perform GWAS in apple

-  Support GWAS in additional selected crops

-  Present results in scientific publications and on conferences



-  Highly motivated scientist with a PhD in in agricultural sciences or plant biology

-  Strong experience and documented involvement in previous GS and/or GWAS studies

-  A strong background in statistics and statistical computing is mandatory

-  Achievement-oriented, open-minded personality with excellent capacity for teamwork

-  Communication and IT skills

-  Basic knowledge of German (or commitment to learn it)



Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture and nutrition, run according to the principles of New Public Management. Agroscope is part of the federal administration and is attached to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER. It has research stations at a number of sites around Switzerland but its head office is in Bern (Liebefeld).

We are offering a PostDoc position to implement GS in apple and perform GWAS in selected crops. We offer a varied work in a multidisciplinary research team. Agroscope has excellent research facilities with well-equipped laboratories, greenhouses, climate chambers and agricultural fields. You will enjoy flexible working hours and good employee benefits. You will have strong interactions with national (ETHZ Group of Molecular Plant Breeding) and international (e.g. INRA) partners.


Place of Work

Agroscope, Wädenswil

Salary Category

According to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation


100%, Start date: 1 April 2018 or upon agreement – End date 31.12.2020



For further information: Dr. Andrea Patocchi, Head of Breeding Research group, phone +41 58 460 63 13.

If this challenge appeals to you and you meet our requirements profile, we look forward to receiving your online application to (REF. PostDoc_ GS/GWAS_Apple)

Online applications consist of a single PDF containing an application letter, CV, copy of certificates/Diplomas (PhD, MSc &BSc) and e-mail addresses of two referees. This position is open until filled (deadline for applications: 1fst of March).


Agroscope, CH

Printed from on 24/02/18 02:07:41 AM

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