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Evolution of Toll´s role for axis formation in insects

Posted by , on 22 March 2023

Location: Institute for Zoology Department of Biology University of Cologne

Closing Date: 15 April 2023

Toll signaling is known for its role in innate immunity. However, in insects Toll is also involved in establishing the dorsoventral body axis. Our past work suggests that this is an evolutionary novelty of insects. In the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus Toll signaling has convergently acquired a morphogen function comparable to that in Drosophila melanogaster. We seek two PhD students to explore the molecular underpinnings of the striking parallels between DV patterning in crickets and flies. They will work closely together one student focusing on protein dynamics and the identification of new genes of the network, the other focusing on epigenetic methods and cis-regulatory elements.


Your Tasks

» CRISPR/Cas mediated genome editing in crickets

» Creating fluorescent protein-tagged transgenes

» Live imaging of morphogen dynamics

» Differential transcriptome analyses (RNA-seq) for identifying network components

» Mapping open chromatin by ATAC-seq in order to identify cis-regulatory elements

» Computational analysis of cis-regulatory sequences

» Collaborations with international experts


Your Profile

» Interest in evolutionary developmental biology

» Masters degree (or equivalent) in Biology, ideally focused on molecular biology, developmental biology, and/or bioinformatics

» Experience with or high motivation to learn about molecular, developmental and live imaging microscopic techniques

» Motivation to acquire bioinformatic skills

» Open for lab exchange with our international collaborators


Our Offer

» Interactions with several international research groups,

» Excellent imaging facilities,

» Expertise in imaging analyses

» Expertise in NGS methods and data analysis

» Expertise in development and molecular genetics of insects

Start date: 2 May 2023

Closing Date: 15 April 2023

Scientific fields: Evo-devo and eco-evo-devo

Model systems:

Duration: Fixed term

Minimum qualifications: Masters degree

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