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PhD Position in Plant-Microbe Interaction and Cell Biology

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Suayb Üstün
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Research: Our group at the ZMBP Tübingen is interested in the role of the proteasome and autophagy during plant immunity. Recently, we have identified that Pseudomonas activates autophagy for proteasome degradation and enhanced pathogenicity (Üstün et al., 2018). On the contrary, another bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria, which infects tomato plants, is using a bacterial effector protein to perturb autophagy.

In this project we aim to investigate:

• Bacterial effectors from Xanthomonas and their impact on autophagy
• the autophagy pathway in tomato using CRISPR/Cas9 technology
• Bacterial effectors and their effect on endocytic degradation and vacuolar trafficking

We are looking for a talented PhD student (f,m,d) with proven expertise in cell and molecular biology. Prior experiences with methods to study plant-microbe interactions and advanced confocal microscopy are highly advantageous but not required. Excellent English communication skills as well as teamwork abilities are expected. A master’s degree in molecular biology, biochemistry or corresponding is required. We offer an innovative and scientifically stimulating environment and use a combination of state-of-the-art techniques. The work will include cell biological (confocal microscopy), biochemical (Co-IP, protein purification, protein-protein interactions), genetic and transcriptomic approaches using tomato, tobacco, Arabidopsis and Xanthomonas as model organisms.

More information can be found on our lab homepage:

The position is available immediately. Reviewing of applications will begin immediately and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Please send your application as a composite pdf-file in English (letter of motivation stating your research interests, CV, name and addresses of at least two referees) via email: [Email Address Removed]
The ZMBP is a world‐class center for Plant Biology research and is situated in a brand-new and well-equipped building in the University of Tübingen science campus. The University of Tübingen is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from qualified women and individuals with disabilities. Formal employment procedures will be carried out by the central administration of the University of Tübingen.

Funding Notes

The Position is for 4 years.


Üstün S., et al. (2018) Bacteria exploit autophagy for proteasome degradation and enhanced virulence in plants. The Plant Cell
Üstün S. et al. (2017). Autophagy as a mediator of life and death in plants. Curr Opin Plant Biol
Üstün S. and Börnke F (2014) Interactions of Xanthomonas type-III effector proteins with the plant ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like pathways. Frontiers Plant Science

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