A position is open for a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Peggy G. Lemaux in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (PMB) at the University of California, Berkeley. The aim of the project for which this person is recruited is to identify and engineer genes, involved in carbon dioxide removal (CDR) via carbon sequestration, in Sorghum bicolor. These genes are targetted to improve photosynthetic efficiency, to achieve desirable root architecture, to increase biomass and to alter specific abiotic stress tolerances associated with acclimation to climate change.

This project is nested wthin a larger project that addresses adaptation to climate change in both rice and sorghum. New, scalable approaches to capture significant amounts of atmospheric carbon are urgently needed to slow global warming. Plants are excellent targets for such solutions, due to their potential to capture carbon and store it in root biomass.

The team includes plant biologists with expertise in rice genetics, sorghum biology, photosynthesis, abiotic stress tolerance, root ecophysiology and plant engineering. For our group, sorghum was chosen because of its high productivity on marginal lands, under climate-driven conditions, like low water and nitrogen availability. Recent advances in our laboratory resulted in dramatic increases in engineering efficiencies of sorghum, using morphogene-associated transformation (MAT ), although editing efficiency lagged behind. Thus, a stated goal of our errorts is to improve editing efficiency, while introducing target genes to increase photosynthetic efficiency and to improve root architecture and specific stress tolerances.

The postdoctoral researcher will participate with the CDR group in PMB and the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) in all phases of the sorghum portion of the project, including identification of target genes, design of engineering constructs, transformation of sorghum and genotyping and phenotyping of transgenic plants during generation advance. Individual will also use existing transformation and editing approaches in the model C4 grass, Setaria viridis, for proof-of-concept studies. IGI efforts are on high-throughput, single-cell approaches to identify and modify promising CRISPR targets in genes, promoters and terminators involved in photosynthetic efficiency, root architecture and abiotic stresses.

The postdoctoral researcher will employ existing and evolving engineering and editing technologies, using the high efficiency MAT methods. With other members of the CDR group, this researcher will perform molecular, biochemical and physiological analysis, genotyping and generation advance of selected engineered plants, with the dual aims of increasing editing efficiency and achieving the climate change goals to improve carbon sequestration. Individual will also participate with other CDR members in writing reports and journal articles resulting from this work. Individual will also use their mentoring skills to work with and train undergraduate researchers.


Basic qualifications(required at time of application)

PhD (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent international degree) program.

Additional qualifications(required at time of start)

PhD (or equivalent international degree) required by the appointment start date.
The candidate should have no more than four years of post-degree research experience by start date.

Preferred qualifications

  • PhD or equivalent international degree in the field of biology, preferably plant biology
  • Experience in plant transformation and tissue culture
  • Experience in cereal crop transformation is preferred, specifically Sorghum bicolor and Setaria viridis.
  • Demonstrated experience is desired in molecular, biochemical, and physiological characterization of engineered plants , including designing and performing gene function studies.
  • Experience is preferred in genetic analyses of responses of cereal crops to abiotic stress treatments and of the genesis of variation in root phenotypes.
  • Ability to utilize next generation sequencing analysis and to work with monocot protoplasts is desired.

Application Requirements

Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Research

Reference requirements

  • 3 required (contact information only)

Campus Information

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Apply link:https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/JPF03677

Help contact: leviporras@berkeley.edu

Next review date: Friday, Oct 21, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Nov 6, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

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