PhD position in Plant Molecular (Epi)genetics at the group of Dr Manuel Piñeiro,  Jose A. Jarillo,  and Pedro Crevillent at the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP) (UPM – INIA, CSIC) in Madrid, Spain.

What are you going to do?

Molecular mechanisms underlying seed adaptation to warm temperature

You will work on a PhD project addressing the plant genetic and non-genetic mechanisms underlying the effect of maternal exposure to warm temperature on seed germination and seedling establishment using the premium oil crop oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and the related model species Arabidopsis thaliana. Warm ambient temperature experienced by maternal plants can influence the germination behavior of their offspring, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for this transgenerational seed response conditioning crop establishment remains largely unknown. A deeper knowledge of this process will facilitate the development of strategies that improve crop adaptation to the current scenario of global warming that is threatening agricultural production.

Your aim will be to investigate global epigenetic changes triggered in the seeds following the exposure of mother plants to warm temperature at different stages of development. Warm temperature-induced modifications in epigenomic features will be correlated with transcriptomic alterations and changes in seed vigour. This will be a highly multidisciplinary project in which you will perform phenotypic analyses of seed traits, transcriptomic profiling using Next Generation Sequencing approaches (RNA-seq), as well as epigenetic and epigenomic analysis by Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and ChIP coupled to sequencing (ChIP-seq) as well as accessibility techniques in oilseed rape and Arabidopsis. You will also get familiar with bioinformatic analysis of massive sequencing data.

You will be actively collaborating with partners in the University of Amsterdam, and will receive training on phenotyping of oilseed rape seeds at DSV (Germany) and on bioinformatic analysis of next generation sequencing data at the company Sequentia. Additional collaborations within the consortium will be possible.

What do you have to offer?

  • MSc in Molecular Biology, Plant Biotechnology, Plant Science, or related topics
  • Knowledge and experience in Molecular Biology or Molecular Genetics
  • Familiar with Epigenetics

Some background in bioinformatic data analysis is preferable.

Our offer

The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of three years. The appointment will be according to the employment rules of Spain and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). A Personal Career Development Plan will be drafted that includes the attendance to EpiSeedLink courses and meetings. The gross monthly salary will be according to the MSCA programme, taking into account the country-specific correction coefficient. Besides the salary, the PhD student will obtain a mobility allowance (see page Requirements and Conditions). Positions are aimed at being full-time, but by exception, if needed for family reasons, part-time appointments are possible.

About us

Our laboratory is based at the Plant Biotechnology and Genomics Centre (CBGP), a joint centre involving INIA, CSIC (the largest public research institution in Spain), and the Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM), located in the Montegancedo Campus, awarded as Spanish Campus of International Excellence. The CBGP has been awarded twice with “Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D”, and hosts state-of-the-art laboratories working on both model plant and crop species.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact: Dr. Manuel Piñeiro;, phone: +34 910679175 or Dr. José A. Jarillo;, phone: +34 910679173.