A 2-year postdoc position (stipend) is available in Stéphanie Robert's group at the Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC), Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Most organisms integrate environmental and endogenous stimuli via various signaling pathways that induce developmental responses. This is especially important in plants because of their sessile life style and their capacity to grow continuously and adapt their architecture according to the environmental conditions.

The long-term goal of our research is to understand the signaling mechanisms regulating plant growth and development (http://www.upsc.se/stephanie_robert).

The first phase of this project has already been performed - by applying an innovative chemical genomic strategy. Some novel small molecules have been identified as potential growth regulators modulating plant development. Several mutants resistant to the effect of one of the molecule have been selected, and the mutations identified. As the continuation of the project, the candidate postdoc fellow will aim at characterizing the functional role of novel molecular actors involved in specific developmental processes. This project will be greatly benefited by the complementary knowledge and research experience already present at the Umeå Plant Science Centre. The proposed work is likely to reveal compelling new insights at the forefront of signaling processes in plants.

Molecular understanding of sugar mediated growth control
The overexpression of bZIP11, a transcription factor involved in the response to sugars, inhibits growth of Arabidopsis seedlings (Hanson et al., 2008). A transcriptomic approach has highlighted genes implicated in primary carbon metabolism as direct transcriptional targets of bZIP11 (Ma et al., 2011).

We recently showed that a mutation in these genes results in a partial to total rescue of the bZIP11 overexpression phenotype and therefore hypothesized that other mutations may as well result in the same rescue. To identify these mutants, an EMS mutagenesis has been performed on the bZIP11 overexpressing line suitable for a suppressor screen.

The aims of this project are to screen the M2 population deriving from this mutagenesis and to further characterize the mutants in physiological and molecular methodology.

Contact: Thomas Dobrenel (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Johannes Hanson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)