We are looking for a Research Associate to study how the clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) acquires nutrients from its Brassica plant host.
You will join the research groups of Dr Stephen Rolfe and Dr Christian Voigt in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.
In this project you will use a range of molecular biological techniques to characterise a family of unusual transporter genes that we have identified in the clubroot genome. We hypothesise that these arose by horizontal gene transfer of bacterial substrate binding domains into the eukaryotic P. brassicae genome. You will fully characterise the gene family using genomic techniques, examine their expression during the pathogen lifecycle and express selected genes in heterologous expression systems. You will look at their function using biochemical approaches and their role in the pathogen using advanced microscopy techniques (super-resolution confocal microscopy and electron microscopy) using antibodies raised against the purified proteins. You will also look at their evolutionary origins, comparing their organisation in the P. brassicae genome with that of other organisms,
You should have a PhD in a relevant area of biology (or be close to completion/have equivalent experience) and expertise in working with plant-pathogen systems. You should have experience with designing and running experiments, and their analysis using molecular biological techniques such as RT-qPCR and high-throughput sequencing. The project will use a wide range of techniques, including advanced microscopy. Training will be provided where necessary and the project represents an ideal opportunity to expand your technical expertise in these areas