PhD Scholarship in Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

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Phytophthora (late blight) resistance in potato
Today, almost half the fungicides in Swedish agriculture are used for potato crops, even though potatoes comprise just over one percent of cultivated land. This is largely due to Phytophthora species, which are one of the most devastating crop pathogens. Consequently, there is a need for new sources of resistance in order to counteract the continued evolution of Phytophthora and to develop sustainable agricultural practices. Pivotal in this work is to better understand the plant-pathogen interaction and the defence response mechanisms in potato.

To identify candidate key players in the plant-pathogen interaction for further functional assessments, we have generated quantitative proteome and phospho-proteome data by mass-spectrometry from different life stages of Phytophthora as well as potato cultivars with varying Phytophthora resistance. The mechanisms at play will be further elucidated by bioinformatics, transcriptional analysis and assays to monitor plant defence response. Experiments are carried in controlled green-house environments and in field trials, and both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM plants will be used. We seek a student who wants to explore a career in plant science.

The project will include designing large-scale experiments with appropriate sampling procedures and subsequent data analysis. The candidate is also expected to study the effects and functions of key components identified in more detail by molecular biology methods. The successful applicant will partly be funded by the foundation for strategic research (SSF) The research group forms a part of the Plant Science Centre, a newly established collaboration between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Lund University. The project will be supervised by Dr Erik Alexandersson and Prof Erik Andreasson.

A master degree, or similar higher university degree, in molecular biology or bioinformatics, preferably comprising functional genomics. Knowledge of bioinformatical tools and computational methods to handle, explore and visualize large datasets are highly valued. Experiences working as part of a laboratory research project and/or of plant handling are preferable. Good knowledge of spoken and written English is required.

A person has basic eligibility for third level education if he or she has taken a second level qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second level.

Those who met the requirements for general eligibility before July 1st, 2007, i.e. had completed a programme of higher education for at least 180 Higher education credits or the equivalent, will continue to do so until the end of 2015.”

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant’s qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Further information: Professor Erik Andreasson

Academic union representatives
SACO Andrus Kangro +46 (0)40 415 479
SEKO Peter Syrjänen +46 (0)18 67 10 57
ST Jörgen Olsson +46 (0)40 415 431

PhD-student commissioner
Monika Appel, 018-67 15 60,

Applications, marked with ref no SLU ua 1437/2011, must have arrived at the Registrar of SLU, P.O. Box 7070, S- 750 07 Uppsala or no later than 2011-07-01.

For more information, please visit official website:

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and correct. However, applicants should contact the appropriate administering body before making an application, as details do change frequently.


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