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-PhD student (M/F) in virology and plant molecular biology

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 1 juillet 2021

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General information

Reference : UPR2357-VERGRA-003
Workplace : STRASBOURG
Date of publication : Thursday, June 10, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : David Gilmer et Véronique Ziegler-Graff
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The sugar beet crop in Europe is currently heavily affected by a disease caused by several aphid-borne viruses which got worse since the restriction of neonicotinoid use. Among these viruses, beet mild yellowing virus (BMYV) is one of the major agents of this yellowing disease. The aim of the thesis project is to identify sugar beet genotypes potentially resistant to beet mild yellowing virus (BMYV) through an innovative large-scale phenotypic screen. It will use a rapid and easy VIGS (Virus Induced Gene Silencing) approach which consists of the inoculation of a modified virus to an established sugar beet collection followed by the visual monitoring of the infection by switching off a host gene involved in photosynthesis.
The project will be divided into three parts: (1) the construction of modified BMYV viral clones for the VIGS strategy and (2) the proof of concept on sugar beets using susceptible lines and transgenic resistant lines as controls and (3) the proper screen of the collection against BMYV. Genotypes showing tolerance or resistance to BMYV will be further analysed molecularly to confirm the trait. Aphid inoculation tests will also be carried out to verify this trait under natural infection conditions. Finaly the specificity of resistance of the candidate lines will be tested using BMYV-related and non-related viruses. This approach will be further exploited against other beet viruses.

Work Context

IBMP is a CNRS unit associated with the University of Strasbourg. The host team is interested in the multiple interactions that take place between the virus and the host plant. The host team consists of a CNRS researcher, two university professors, a lecturer, two engineers, a post-doc fellow and four doctoral students. The candidate will work in partnership with the seed company, owner of the germplasm collection. He/she will benefit from the expertise of the team members as well as that of the company's researchers (beet pathologists and geneticists). He/she will actively participate in the weekly meetings of exchange and presentation of the team's results and will attend the institute's seminars. The candidate will also be in regular contact with the company's researchers for their expertise and the follow-up of the project.

Constraints and risks

Possible risks associated with working in a molecular biology laboratory.

Additional Information

The project is co-financed by the Région Grand Est and a seed company.
The candidate will hold a Master's degree or an engineering degree in biological sciences, and will have the following skills:
- good knowledge in molecular and cellular biology and genetics
- knowledge in plant biology
- expertise in virology will be an asset
- a keen interest in innovation, technological development and economic issues
- a strong attraction for experimental work
- rigor, strong motivation, seriousness and assiduity
- team spirit and good interpersonal skills
- fluency in English read, written and spoken

To apply, candidates must submit a cover letter with their personal motivations, a CV (including contact of at least one referee) as well as an academic transcript (M1+M2/equivalents).

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