Research Associate/Fellow

University of Nottingham - Plant & Crop Sciences

Salary: £26,052 to £38,183 per annum, depending on skills and experience (minimum £29301 with relevant PhD). Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance

Applicants are invited for the above post based in the Division of Plant & Crop Sciences, University of Nottingham, working with Prof Zoe Wilson on a BBSRC-Newton project entitled “Maintaining rice reproduction under high temperature stress:- identifying mechanisms and germplasm to increase crop resilience.” This project is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China).

Flower development is critical for plant breeding and seed production. Pollen formation is highly sensitive to temperature stress; high temperature stress during flowering therefore poses a serious threat to current and long- term crop yields. Nevertheless there is considerable genetic variability in tolerance to high temperature between species and genotypes. Understanding how plants cope with heat stress during reproductive development offers the potential to identify genetic traits that can be manipulated and utilised to improve temperature tolerance in crops.

This project will address these issues by developing rice germplasm with enhanced resilience to temperature stress and by providing detailed understanding of the molecular and cytological changes occurring during reproduction under heat stress, and the mechanisms conferring resilience to high temperatures.

The successful candidate will be required to screen rice materials to use Natural Variation to identify germplasm and traits associated with temperature resilience. These materials will be phenotyped in field and glasshouse conditions for altered fertility and floral architecture as a consequence of heat stress. Fieldwork will be conducted in two locations in China. GWAS and Introgression marker analysis will be used to identify the loci responsible. Molecular tools and transgenic lines will be used to dissect the mechanisms behind these traits.

Candidates must have PhD, or be close to submission of their PhD thesis, in a relevant subject, and have experience in molecular genetics. The candidate must be computer literate in Word, PowerPoint, Excel. The role requires expertise in plant reproduction and the ability to carry out field screening alongside lab based molecular biology and microscopy.

This full-time post is fixed-term until 31 March 2018.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof Zoe Wilson, tel: 0115 951 3235 Or email zoe.wilson@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

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Midlands of England