A 2-year postdoctoral position will soon be available at the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station located in Kearneysville, WV. This research center is located just outside of the Washington DC and Baltimore metro areas. The incumbent will conduct cellular and molecular level studies of plant genes that control shoot growth in trees and model plant systems. The position will be hired under the federal government pay scale at GS-11. US citizenship is required.
The assignment is to use molecular and genetic approaches to 1) identify and study the expression, regulation and function of genes associated with branch growth orientation or tree size; 2) Identify signaling pathways and gene networks that participate in lateral shoot growth dynamics; and/or 3) characterize existing plant mutants with altered growth habits. Work will be performed both in tree and model plant systems as appropriate. One objective for the incumbent is to identify a gene responsible for a single locus trait in peach that confers increased branching using new next generation sequencing strategies. In addition, the incumbent will help elucidate the role of the TAC1 and LAZY1 genes in controlling branch growth orientation (see recent reference below). The incumbent will participate as a team member in the selection and development of appropriate methodologies and experimental approaches. Multi-disciplinary approaches will be utilized. Possible methods include whole genome sequencing, expression profiling via transcriptome sequencing, hormone imaging, promoter analyses, yeast two-hybrid screening, and transgenic expression of genes, reporters, or silencing constructs.
The research is expected to improve our understanding of tree growth and development at the cellular and molecular levels. In addition, the work will identify genetic elements
that may be subject to improvement through selection or engineering as well as the development of suitable techniques to study gene expression and function in tree species. The work will culminate in testable molecular models that will help explain tree growth dynamics.
This research assignment requires professional knowledge in Plant Biology, Plant Physiology, Molecular Biology and/or Horticulture. Skill in applying molecular techniques, microscopy, plant transformation, bioinformatics, protein biochemistry, and cell biology are also required.
Interested individuals should contact me (see below) for additional information and application instructions.
Dardick C, Callahan A, Horn R, Ruiz KB, Zhebentyayeva T, Hollender C, Whitaker M, Abbott A, Scorza R. PpeTAC1 promotes the horizontal growth of branches in
peach trees and is a member of a functionally conserved gene family found in diverse plants species. Plant J. 2013 Aug;75(4):618-30.
Plant Molecular Biologist/Pathologist
USDA ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station
2217 Wiltshire Road
Kearneysville, WV 25430
Office: 304-725-3451 ext. 387
Chris.dardick from ars.usda.gov<mailto:Chris.dardick from ars.usda.gov>
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