Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Lab)
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Lab)
Post Number
1003704
Closing Date
27 Jun 2019
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Understanding the impact of the environment on production of host metabolites that sculpt root microbial communities
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Jul 2019
Months Duration
21

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Investigate the role of root-derived triterpene metabolites in shaping the microbial communities around plant roots (Arabidopsis and oat) and understanding the effects of root bacteria on plant growth and health. This post will require experience of plant and/or microbial genetics. Experience of plant stress biology, metabolic biology, and microbiome analysis are desirable.

Key Relationships

The successful applicant will be line-managed by Professor Anne Osbourn and be based at the John Innes Centre, they will also visit Dr Bai's lab at IGDB to carry out parts of this collaborative project.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Investigate the impact of triterpenes (avenacins) on root microbiome establishment in oat using a suite of available thoroughly characterised avenacin pathway mutants.
30
Use available in silico transcriptome resources to investigate the expression of Arabidopsis biosynthetic gene clusters in roots in response to different abiotic and biotic stresses, and verify the effects of different environmental conditions on gene expression experimentally by qPCR. The impact of different environmental stresses on root microbial communities in wild type Arabidopsis will be established by root microbiome sequencing. The impact of mutation/overexpression of triterpene pathway genes on root microbiota establishment and plant fitness under different environmental conditions will then be investigated.
30
Carry out in vitro tests of the effects of purified Arabidopsis root triterpenes on the growth of representative bacterial strains cultured from the Arabidopsis soil microbiota, and evaluate the effects of different microbial strains on plant growth and development.
25
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements.
5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities.
5
Preparing manuscripts for submission to high profile journals.
5
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role.

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD in plant biology or microbiology
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Knowledge of plant biology or microbiology
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Extensive experience of plant and/or microbial genetics and molecular biology
Essential
Previous experience of research in plant stress biology, metabolic biology and/or microbiome analysis
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Evidence of intellectual independence, rigour and creativity
Essential
Experience of oral presentation to scientific audiences
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well in a team
Essential
Good verbal and written communication skills
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential

Who We Are

John Innes Centre

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology, carrying out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and making our findings available to society.

Our research makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences including; cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

For more information about working at the John Innes Centre, please click here.

We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links. We are proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Department

Metabolic Biology

The aims of research in the Department of Metabolic Biology are to understand the basis of diversity in plant metabolism, and the interplay between metabolism and plant nutrition, development and responses to disease and stress. This information underpins the development of sustainable agriculture and bio-based industries.

Group Details

The Postdoctoral Scientist appointed to this position will be based in the Department of Metabolic Biology at the John Innes Centre in the laboratory of Professor Anne Osbourn and will join a multidisciplinary team working on plant natural products - biosynthesis, function and mechanisms of metabolic diversification. The project is a collaboration with the group of Dr Yang Bai, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing, funded by the John Innes Centre - Chinese Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence in Plant and Microbial Science Alliance (CEPAMS).

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Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Lab)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on a collaborative project between the laboratories of Professor Anne Osbourn (John Innes Centre) and Dr Yang Bai (Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing).

This project is funded by the John Innes Centre - Chinese Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence in Plant and Microbial Science Alliance (CEPAMS). The Postdoctoral Researcher will be based at the John Innes Centre but will also visit Dr Bai's lab at IGDB to carry out key aspects of this work relating to microbiome analysis.

The role:

Building on recently published work from the Osbourn and Bai labs ('A specialized metabolic network selectively modulates Arabidopsis root microbiota' Science 10 May 2019:Vol. 364, Issue 6440, eaau6389), the successful candidate will investigate the impact of the environment on production of host metabolites that sculpt root microbial communities. Specifically, they will:

1) Use available in silico transcriptome resources to investigate the expression of Arabidopsis biosynthetic gene clusters in roots in response to different abiotic and biotic stresses and verify the effects of different environmental conditions on gene expression experimentally by qPCR. The impact of different environmental stresses on root microbial communities in wild type Arabidopsis will be established by root microbiome sequencing. The impact of mutation/overexpression of triterpene pathway genes on root microbiota establishment and plant fitness under different environmental conditions will then be investigated.

2) Carry out in vitro tests of the effects of purified Arabidopsis root triterpenes on the growth of representative bacterial strains cultured from the Arabidopsis soil microbiota and evaluate the effects of different microbial strains on plant growth and development.

3) Investigate the impact of different triterpenes (avenacins) on root microbiome establishment in oat using a suite of available thoroughly characterised avenacin pathway mutants. These experiments will reveal the role of the avenacin pathway in regulating oat root microbiota and enable comparisons to be made with findings for Arabidopsis.

The ideal candidate:

The post holder will work independently and ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements.

The successful applicant will have a PhD in plant biology or microbiology and extensive experience of plant and/or microbial genetics and molecular biology. Experience of plant stress biology, and/or microbiome analysis are desirable. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post available until 31 March 2021.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The closing date for applications will be 27 June 2019.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.