The Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is an internationally renowned center in experimental plant biology and forest biotechnology. More than 190 scientists from 35 countries organized in 30 groups are working at UPSC.
Postdoctoral position: Genetic regulation of tension wood formation in Populus
Wood as feedstock for the production of biofuels is recalcitrant to pretreatments and degradation due to the incorporation of lignin into secondary cell walls. Upon mechanical stimulation angiosperm trees can produce tension wood, which is characterized by low lignin but high cellulose contents. Although tension wood has been recognized as a favorable substrate for biofuel and pulp production, transcriptional networks regulating tension wood formation have yet to be uncovered. The successful applicant will identify transcription factors regulating tension wood formation in Populus from existing spatially and temporally highly resolved RNASeq data. Candidate transcription factors will be functionally analyzed in Arabidopsis and Populus, with the vision to tailor wood properties to the needs of industrial processing. For the chemical characterization of mutants and transgenic trees high-throughput immunohistochemistry with semi-automated image analysis will be employed.
The postdoctoral position is within the strategic research environment Bio4Energy, www.bio4energy.se, which is devoted to bioenergy production from lignocellulosic biomass. The work will be carried out at UPSC, where research on cell walls and wood biology is a particularly active area covering aspects of biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology and wood chemistry. UPSC provides state-of-the-art platforms, including proteomics, metabolomics, cell wall and wood analysis, spectroscopy, microscopy and a poplar transformation service, which will ensure success in the outlined project.
The position is for the duration of two years and is immediately available. Applicants require a doctoral degree in molecular biology or a closely related discipline. Experience with the above mentioned techniques are of advantage. Furthermore, applicants should be proficient in English and should have the ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with others.
The application should include: (i) a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and your motivation to work on the given project; (ii) a CV; (iii) a publication list and (iv) names and contacts of at least three references. The application has to be submitted electronically as one file to the project leader, Dr. Urs Fischer, UPSC, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish Agricultural University, urs.fischer from slu.se. The deadline for submission is the 17th of December 2013.