Thursday, June 22, 2017

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Open Postdoc Stipend in Comparative Genomics in host-pathogen interactions

Post doc stipend: How do host interactions shape the genomes of plant and insect
pathogens?

Oomycetes belong to a Eukaryotic lineage that is most similar to brown algae,
despite their morphological similarity with fungi. Several oomycetes are
devastating pathogens, including the notorious potato late blight pathogen

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Phytophthora infestans. Many plant pathogenic species have been
sequenced and comparative genomics has given great insights into the
genetic determinants of pathogenicity in these species. However species that
infect insects or that parasitise other oomycetes or fungi, and might therefore
be potential biological control organisms for plant diseases are not well
studied. Through a SciLifeLab National Biodiversity Project we have
sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five understudied oomycetes
with diverse lifestyles. These include new and emerging tropical species
(Phytophthora colacaise), broad host range species (Phytophthora cactorum)
and those that are pathogenic on hosts including mosquitos (Lagenidium
giganteum) or other oomycetes and fungi (Pythium oligandrum and Pythium
periplocum).

The aim of this postdoc training project is to analyse these data, using
genome annotation and by performing comparative genomics using our and
other published data to answer fundamental questions such as:
How do broad host range pathogens cope with multiple hosts?
How are oomycete genomes shaped by interactions with hosts?
What are the genetic determinants of host specificity in diverse oomycetes?
How can this information direct the development of better disease control?
The post doc will join a dynamic multidisciplinary team of approximately 16
researchers within the Resistance Biology unit at the Department of Plant
Protection Biology, studying plant-microbe interactions focusing on how plants
defend themselves against pathogens and integrated disease control.
Qualifications: We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a PhD
degree in bioinformatics, molecular plant-microbe interactions, microbial
genetics or a related subject. Previous experience of bioinformatics projects
including comparative genomics projects, handling, analyzing and
interpreting NGS sequencing data is essential. Knowledge of handling largescale
data in Unix and scripting languages (e.g. Perl, Python, R) is required
and experience developing custom tools for mining ‘omics data is
advantageous. The candidate is also expected to work both independently
and within a team. Fluency in written and spoken English is essential. The
ranking of candidates will be made based on proven scientific competence
within the subject of the position.
Location: Alnarp, Sweden.

The post doc will receive a stipend to support their living costs. This
forms part of a two-year project for which a 12-month training stipend is
guaranteed in the first instance. This may be extended to a maximum of 24
months depending on funding.
Extent: 100%

Starting date: By agreement, preferably as soon as possible.
Application: please send your application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
no later than 11th August 2017. All documents must be written in English.
Your application should contain: 1) a short letter of motivation describing
your previous and current research and other activities of relevance to the
position; 2) a CV including a list of publications; 3) contact details for at least
two people as professional references; 4) copies of degrees and transcripts
of academic records.

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