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Postdoctoral fellowship at UPSC (Sweden) on Plant metacaspases and vascular development

Posted by , on 8 March 2020

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

The fellowship is a part of a 5-year project “ Co-evolution of metacaspase structure and biological function in Arabidopsis”, which aims to advance our mechanistic understanding of metacaspase family proteases in close cooperation between five research groups located in Uppsala BioCenter at SLU, Umeå SLU and Umeå University. The successful candidate for this fellowship will join the group of Hannele Tuominen at UPSC in Umeå, Sweden.

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is a research centre in Umeå, Sweden ( where research of both basic and strategic importance is conducted. The research at UPSC is carried out on all organization levels of the plant with a common goal to understand the plant as a complex organism in dynamic interaction with its environment.

Previous studies carried out by the host and other laboratories have linked metacaspases to regulation of aging and cell death in diverse organisms (Escamez et al., 2020). The Arabidopsis thaliana Metacaspase9 (MC9) is required for the rapid autolysis of the xylem vessel elements (Bollhöner et al., 2013), but the underlying mechanism as well as the proteolytic substrates of MC9 remain poorly understood. The main purpose of this project is to study MC9-mediated cleavage of target proteins which results in production of biologically active peptides, including the previously identified Bia and Kratos peptides (Escamez et al., 2019, J Exp Bot. 70:2199-2210). The function of the peptides is investigated in vascular differentiation of Arabidopsis using genetic, proteomic and biochemical methods. Other aspects of the project can be developed according to the interests of the candidate.

  • Bollhöner B, Zhang B, Stael S, Denancé N, Overmyer K, Goffner D, van Breusegem F and Tuominen H 2013. Post mortem function of AtMC9 in xylem vessel elements. New Phytologist 200:498-510.
  • Escamez S, Stael S, Vainonen J, Willems P, Jin H, Kimura S, Van Breusegem F, Gevaert K, Wrzaczek M, and Tuominen H. 2019. Extracellular peptide Kratos restricts cell death during vascular development and stress in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental botany 70: 2199–2210.
  • Escamez S, André D, Sztojka B, Bollhöner B, Hall H, Berthet B, Voss U, Lers A, Maizel A, Andersson M, Bennett M, Tuominen H. 2020. Cell death in cells overlying lateral root primordia contributes to organ growth in Arabidopsis. Current Biology 30: 1–10.

We are looking for a highly motivated plant biologist with a keen interest in understanding mechanisms and role of proteolysis in a developmental context. Successful candidates are expected to have a PhD degree, experience in cell and molecular biology and genetics, and a proven research track record.

A stipend is granted for 2 years starting in August 1, 2020 or by agreement. The tax-free stipend is financed by the Wallenberg foundation and amounts to 288 000 SEK per year. The fellowship can be prolonged by a two-year University employment after positive evaluation. The project involves visits to collaborating laboratories.

Please send you application, including a personal letter, CV, and contact information of three references by e-mail to latest 30 April 2020.

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