A PhD position in tree epigenomics is available at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany. The position is part of a government-funded collaborative project between the TUM (Plant epigenomics, Forest growth and yield science), University of Freiburg (Forest Genetics) and the University of Marburg (Plant Ecology and Geobotany).

Description: DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark with fundamental roles in gene regulation and transposable element silencing. In plant genomes, aberrant DNA methylation changes (i.e. epimutations) can arise spontaneously, similar to DNA sequence mutations. Unlike in animals, these epimutations are often transmitted across many generations and have been shown to contribute to the heritability of important plant traits. It remains unclear if and how epimutations shape the course of plant evolution, and whether they are exploitable in agricultural breeding programs.

In this project, we investigate how past environmental conditions and growth histories of forest trees have affected epimutational processes within the 3D topology of a tree, and the extent to which somatically-acquired methylation changes affect seedling fitness in the next generation. The project will contribute to the knowledge about the adaptability of tree species to changing environmental conditions.

What are we looking for: We are looking for a talented PhD student who will take charge of the analysis and interpretation of genome-wide methylation data in trees. The applicant would make use of and combine several in-house computational algorithms into a single analysis pipeline. We have a strong preference for bioinformaticians/computational biologists with a deep appreciation for biological phenomena or, alternatively, experimentalists with a solid background in bioinformatics/computational biology. For specific inquiries regarding this position contact Frank Johannes at work@johanneslab.org.

Location: The Johannes lab is embedded in TUM School of Life Sciences. The TUM is rated among the best in Germany and ranks well internationally. The TUM Life Sciences campus is located about 30 minutes from the city center of Munich and 15 minutes from the Munich international airport. The Campus houses state of the art facilities for plant phenotyping, computing and bioinformatics.

Application: Send your application directly to susanna.fink@tum.de. The application should include: 1) a full CV, 2) a short statement of research interests and experience, and 3) contact information for two references (preferably everything in a single pdf file). The application deadline is October 22, 2022. Starting date is as soon as possible.

Salary: The salary is 65% of a standard E13 TV-L pay scale depending on qualifications. The TUM is interested in fostering career opportunities for women, therefore women are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities and more or less equal qualifications will be favored.

Relevant links:

Johannes group: www.johanneslab.org

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