The Chair of Phytopathology at the Technical University of Munich, TUM School of Life Sciences, hires a Doctoral student in the field of molecular plant pathology: Powdery mildew fungi are biotrophic pathogens infecting agriculturally relevant crop plant species. We aim to molecularly dissect how powdery mildew fungi establish successful host infection and colonization. Important factors determining host colonization are plant susceptibility factors. Their absence prevents infection and their molecular understanding helps to generate transferable knowledge for future crop improvement strategies.

The focus of our group is on plant receptor kinases that perceive endogenous peptides to regulate different aspects of plant physiology in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. We have evidence that a specific family of receptor kinases (together with their endogenous peptide ligands) controls powdery mildew infection success. Members of the same receptor family can promote and inhibit powdery mildew colonization, suggesting a complex genetic and biochemical interplay.

The successful applicant will combine plant genetics, involving mutant generation by CRISPR-Cas9, receptor kinase biochemistry, cell biology and plant pathology to study the involvement of this receptor kinase family and their peptide ligands in powdery mildew infection of Arabidopsis.

A strong interest in receptor biology and molecular phytopathology is required. Knowledge and practical experience in molecular plant biology is desirable. Furthermore, English skills, both written and spoken, are essential. She/he should have a very good master´s degree in Biology or closely related disciplines.

The project will be carried out in the group of Dr. Martin Stegmann at the Chair of Phytopathology (Prof. Dr. Ralph Hückelhoven). The chair hosts several research groups studying molecular biology of plant immunity and plant-plant pathogen evolution. The project is part of the newly established collaborative research centre TRR356 facilitating strong interactions among groups with overlapping and complementary expertise in plant microbe interactions.

In addition, we have several collaborations both international and on campus and direct access to state of the art technology for studying Arabidopsis powdery mildew disease, protein-protein interactions (in vivo and in vitro), diverse molecular and cell biology techniques and high quality plant growth room and glass house facilities.

The Technical University of Munich is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from qualified women and individuals with disabilities. The salary is according to German/Bavarian income level TV-L E13 (65%).

Please send your comprehensive application including a letter of motivation (1 page), your CV, certificates, list of publications, and names of 2 potential referees as a single pdf file by email to: martin.stegmann@tum.de. Applications will be reviewed regularly from December 10th 2022 on but accepted until a suitable candidate is found.

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