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Funded PhD position; in Analyzing plant stress granules in response to plant viruses; at Leibniz Institute DSMZ; in Germany


The working group VirusInteract located at the Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH in Braunschweig, Germany, is offering now a


PhD position “Analyzing plant stress granules in response to plant viruses“


Your Job:

Plant viruses have the ability to redirect host machineries and processes to establish a productive infection. Virus-host interactions lead to the reprogramming of the plant cell cycle and transcriptional controls, inhibition of cell death pathways, interference with cell signaling and protein turnover, and suppression defense pathways.

We recently could show that viral proteins interact with the Ras-GAP SH3 domain binding protein (G3BP), which is an integral part of stress granules (SGs). SGs are cytoplasmic localized RNAprotein complexes that form when abiotic/biotic stresses are applied. In SGs preassembled translation complexes are stalled to downregulate gene expression to promote immune response, but gene expression can also be resumed when stress conditions diminish. G3BP is a key factor for SGs formation in the mammalian system and often targeted by viruses. Characterization of plant SGs and their role in virus infection is poorly investigated.

Thus, the overall aim of this DFG funded project is to analyze and characterize plant SGs and to elucidate their role in plant stress response, with special emphasis on viral infections. The G3BP is the key enzyme in SG function, and therefore, we will characterize the Arabidopsis G3BP(s) by analyzing G3BP OEX and KO Arabidopsis plants under ambient and stress conditions. We will follow a proteomics approach to analyze the composition of SGs. We will investigate the functional role of virus proteins to understand the interplay of virus and SGs in the plant virus infection cycle. Taken together this will enable us to understand not only the cellular complexes but also the strategies and mechanisms a plant virus needs to employ and to re-program a plant cell to its favor.Your Profile:


  • Experiences and background in plant virology, cell biology and molecular biology
  • Master degree (or equivalent) in the above-mentioned disciplines with an overall grade of at least ‘good’
  • strong English writing and communication skills
  • basic experience in conducting experiments involving plant cultivation and virus infection is desired


Our Offer:

  • working in an interdisciplinary environment as well as excellent facilities for biologic and biotechnical research
  • Exciting working environment on an attractive research campus
  • Opportunities to being part of the national and international scientific community
  • PhD students are encouraged to attend international conferences and visits abroad with a cooperating partner are planned
  • Flexible working hours and various opportunities to reconcile work and family life
  • Limited first for 2 years (with the opportunity to prolong)

Depending on the applicant’s qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks, salary grade TV-L E13 (65%)


The institutes of the Leibniz Association strive to increase the proportion of female scientists in this area and encourage specifically female candidates to apply. Disabled applicants with identical qualification will be preferentially selected.

The DSMZ is an equal opportunity employer, supports balanced work-life career development, and holds the certificate of the audit berufundfamilie.

We look forward to receiving your application until 15.10.2017, preferably by email ( or by mail with application number 22/17 adressed to Personalabteilung, Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH, Inhoffenstraße 7B, 38124 Braunschweig.

Deadline: October 15, 2017.

Apply Now