Have you ever wondered how plants and fungi find each other? Root-colonizing fungi have a dramatic impact on plant health. Beneficial fungi such as mycorrhizal fungi and some Trichoderma species promote plant growth, supply nutrients, and improve plant stress tolerance. Soil-borne pathogenic fungi provoke devastating yield losses and are highly persistent and difficult to control. For example, Fusarium spp. and Rhizoctonia spp. cause vascular wilt disease and root rot disease, respectively, in a broad host range worldwide.
For a PhD project, we are looking for a highly qualified and motivated PhD candidate to conduct research activities, resulting in a doctoral dissertation under supervision of Prof. dr. Harro Bouwmeester. This PhD position is shared by the Plant Hormone Biology and Biosystems Data Analysis groups. The Plant Hormone Biology group
investigates the role of plant hormones and other signaling molecules in the communication of plants with other organisms. The Biosystems Data Analysis group
develops and implements advanced statistical and machine learning tools for integrating omics data. If you enjoy performing both lab work as well as data analysis and work in a diverse team of scientists, then this position is perfect for you!What are you going to do?
In this PhD project, the objective is to study perception of plant signals by root-colonizing fungi and the fungal response mediated by the received signals, including colonization of roots and downstream systemic effects on the root/rhizosphere microbiome. You will identify the signals in plant root exudates, the perception mechanism in fungi of plant signals and/or nutrients involved in plant-fungi communication and the downstream influence on fungal colonization and the root/rhizosphere microbiome.Tasks and responsibilities
- design and perform experiments in plants and fungi;
- complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
- plan and perform scientific data analysis and experiments in an independent manner;
- critically analyze and interpret results;
- take a leading role in writing manuscripts;
- present your results at (inter)national scientific meetings;
- collaborate with international and local researchers;
- participate in the Faculty of Science PhD training programme;
- assist in teaching undergraduates and Master's students;
- co-supervise junior scientists (technicians, MSc/BSc students).