Postdoctoral position in Molecular Plant Biology– Unraveling the alternative ethylene biosynthesis pathway of plants

(ref. BAP-2022-288)
The lab of Prof. Van de Poel conducts fundamental research on plant hormones, especially ethylene, combining physiology and molecular biology. We are affiliated with the Department of Biosystems of the University of Leuven (Belgium). We have an open full-time postdoctoral position to discover and characterize the alternative ethylene biosynthesis pathway of plants using the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha.


Ethylene is an important plant hormone that regulates many developmental processes and stress responses. It is known that seed-plants produce ethylene using ACC, while non-seed plants produce ethylene using a different pathway. In this project we will use the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, a non-vascular model plant representative for early plant life on earth, to discover this alternative ethylene biosynthesis pathway.

In this project you will conduct a mutagenic screen to discover novel ethylene biosynthesis mutants, and characterize these mutants using reverse genetics and molecular biology approaches. You also continue ongoing work related to candidate precursor molecules retrieved in the lab, and engage in 13C labeling experiments to unravel intermediate steps and the architecture of this unknown ethylene biosynthesis pathway.


Our team is looking for a highly motivated postdoc, who has a strong expertise in molecular biology and is excellent at the bench. The project requires you to be dedicated and highly ambitious. You are a team player with acritical mind who is willing to engage in an ems genetic screen and 13Clabeling experiments. You have a proven expertise in molecular biology.  Additional expertise in ethylene or Marchantia biology is a plus. You are interested to participate in the supervision of PhD and master students in the lab.

You hold a PhD in Plant Biology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology,Bioscience engineering, Biology, Biochemistry or similar. You have a proven track-record (publications) in the field of molecular biology or plant biology.


We offer you a full-time position for 1 year, extendable with another 2 years after a positive evaluation (so 3 years in total). Our young and dynamic team will support you to successfully obtain excellent results and publish your findings in high-impact journals. You will be able to further improve your skills in molecular biology using the latest technologies. The PI will also support you in project management and grant writing, to broaden your academic training.

You will be able to complete your scientific development at a top-ranked university, in order to become an independent scientist. You will have opportunities to participate at national and international meetings, and establish your own network. You will have possibilities to gain experience in transferal skills.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Bram Van de Poel, tel.: +32 16 32 55 27, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 15, 2022 via the online application tool

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