PhD candidate effector-driven breeding for resistance to Verticillium in potato

PhD candidate effector-driven breeding for resistance to Verticillium in potato

Published Deadline Location
26 Mar 12 Apr Wageningen

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Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate on effector-driven breeding for disease resistance against Verticillium in Solanum species.

Research description
The interaction of pathogen effectors and plant immune receptors is key to understanding disease resistance. We are exploiting a collection of wild Solanum species to identify and characterize resistance genes to potato pathogens, by functional screens with effectors. This effectoromics approach was pioneered for Phytophthora infestans and has led to a catalogue of avirulence genes and their matching resistance genes.
In the framework of a TKI project entitled 'Identifying and characterizing Verticillium resistance in potato', a position for a PhD candidate is available. In this project, we aim to identify and characterize genetic resistance against Verticillium wilt in Solanum accessions, by exploiting an effectoromics strategy combined with modern sequencing technologies. This public private partnership project is funded by a four different potato breeding companies. The research will make use of the facilities and resources we have available at WUR and we will collaborate with other academic groups within and outside WUR.


Wageningen University & Research


  • a successfully completed MSc degree in molecular biology or equivalent study;
  • experience with molecular plant-microbe interactions, genetics, bioinformatics and affinity with plant phenotyping;
  • preferred candidates have very good teamwork abilities;
  • very good level of oral and written English. You are required to show us a certification of English skills. For more information about the required level please take a look at:;
  • you meet all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

Conditions of employment

We offer a 4-year PhD position starting from 1 May, or at the earliest convenience. You will receive a contract for one year, after which an extension of three years is possible. The PhD student will become part of a team that includes other PhD students, postdocs, and research technicians. The PhD student will also participate in the graduate school Experimental Plant Sciences, which offers opportunities for courses supporting scientific as well as personal and professional development.

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional flexible hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. We offer, depending on your experience, a competitive salary of between €2.375,- and €3.036,- for a full-time working week of 36 hours, in accordance with the CLA Wageningen Research (scale promovendi).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

Equal opportunities
WUR is an equal opportunity employer. We are keen to receive applications from all sufficiently qualified people, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, functional impairment, religion/life philosophy, sexual orientation, or age.

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 711522


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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