PhD student

Website Wageningen University

Our team is looking for a PhD candidate interested in elucidating the roles of intrinsic disorder and phase separation of Auxin Response Factors

In this project the roles of intrinsic disorder and phase separation for the function and regulation of Auxin Response Factors (ARFs) from the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha will be investigated. ARFs are transcription factors that are composed of three conserved domains, of which the middle one is forecasted to be intrinsically disordered. We use Marchantia polymorpha as model species as it has the simplest auxin-response system, including only one member of each of the three dedicated ARF protein families identified (Mutte et al. eLife 2018, Kato et al. Nature Plants 2020). An integrated (cellular) biochemical and biophysical approach will be used to experimentally quantify disorder of the middle region of MpARF proteins and their propensity to phase separate. Furthermore, you will address phase separation in vivo by visualizing fluorescently labelled MpARFs spatiotemporally within Marchantia. To establish the generic biological relevance of ARF phase separation, you will study the exchange of MpARFs between condensates and environment and analyze the packing and molecular composition of MpARF condensates in Marchantia.

The project involves in vitro biochemical/biophysical methods as well as in vivo cell biology approaches. Hence, it would be advantageous if the prospective PhD candidate has experience in these research fields. This 4-year position can be filled directly. The PhD candidate will be embedded in the research groups of Dr. C. van Mierlo and Dr. J.W. Borst and will closely cooperate with the team of prof. D. Weijers.

Our research team is part of the Laboratory of Biochemistry at Wageningen University. In addition to research on auxin signaling in Arabidopsis and Marchantia, a broad range of other (non-plant) research subjects are explored within our department. Furthermore, the department maintains strong expertise and instrumentation in advanced fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy, mass spectrometry-based proteomics and structural biology. Wageningen University is one of the premier international universities in the life sciences, particularly in plant biology and agriculture. There are dynamic interactions with many other departments, as well as with other Dutch universities within the graduate school Experimental Plant Sciences. This graduate school also offers many opportunities for courses to support both science and professional development.

If you are interested in joining our dynamic, international and diverse team, please apply by sending a single pdf including (1) a motivation letter, (2) cv, (3) names and contact details of 3 references that best illustrate your scientific expertise to, or

Applications will be considered until a suitable candidate has been recruited

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