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PhD - Signaling of physiological control of plant biotic stress resistance

Currently much of management of plant growth and protection against pests in Dutch greenhouses depends on application of chemicals. In order to make such …

9 maanden geleden


Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


Currently much of management of plant growth and protection against pests in Dutch greenhouses depends on application of chemicals. In order to make such management more sustainable we will investigate how manipulation of plant growth by light and temperature can enhance plant biotic stress resilience on demand in greenhouses. You will investigate how LED/temperature treatments alter carbohydrate state of plants and how this influences fluxes through growth or biosynthetic pathways underlying growth and defence. It has already been shown that PIF transcription factors and Mediator (MED) components play a central role in the switch between growth and defence. Understanding the underlying molecular principles in plant physiology will provide the basis for novel treatment protocols to be used in greenhouses.
In the PPH part of this GreenII project 'LEDs make it resilient' we will make use of insights obtained in previous studies on the interaction between light quality x temperature aimed at molecular regulation of compact plant growth in greenhouses. You will study how transcriptional dynamics of selected target genes by PIF and MED proteins respond to timed LED treatments and temperature to find optimal response conditions for biotic resilience. Both stable and transient transcription assays have been set up to study the interaction between key target genes and PIFs and MED and we will dissect short term and long term responses that may be influenced at an epigenetic level, contributing to a 'memory' effect in stress responses


For this research project we seek a PhD candidate with an MSc degree in (Molecular) Biology, Plant Sciences or a related discipline; experience in (molecular) plant physiology; a proven ability to think in molecular and physiological concepts; interest in fundamental research; ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team; well-developed (English) communication and writing skills.
The PPH PhD candidate will have close interaction with the other PhDs to be appointed for this program at HPP and ENT. Although for the PPH PhD the focus will be on fundamental research, he/she should be capable to translate fundamental insights into practical applications and communicate well with the companies involved in this program.


We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years. Gross salary per month € 2222,- in the first year rising to € 2840,- per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the Laboratory of Plant Physiology in Wageningen.

Additional information

Information on the research: Dr A.R. van der Krol (sander.vanderkrol@wur.nl) or Dr I.F. Kappers (iris.kappers@wur.nl)
Information on the selection procedure: Mrs Eva Siebelink (eva.siebelink@wur.nl)

You can apply up and until April 2, 2018
For this position you can only apply on line: www.wageningenur.nl/career

Don't email your application directly to the people mentioned above but use the website to apply.


The Laboratory of Plant Physiology (PPH) is part of the Plant Sciences Group of the Wageningen University and Research Centre and aims to contribute to the understanding of how plants function. We are particularly interested in how plants respond to changes in their sometimes hostile environment. One of our aims is to contribute to the understanding how a plant decides between investment of its resources into growth or into defence against pests. Our insights find their application in the manipulation of plants in greenhouses to stimulate their biotic stress resilience when needed, through light and temperature treatments. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology provides exciting new opportunities, not only to reduce energy inputs, but may also be used to increase primary production and improve sustainable pest control. In an integrated program called 'LEDs make it resilient', involving Plant Physiology (PPH), the Horticultural Plant-Product Physiology group (HPP) and Entomology (ENT) at Wageningen University we will study the molecular response of plants to specific light and temperature treatments. These treatments which will be correlated to plant growth responses (HPP) and leaf pest stress resistance (ENT) and the integrated insights should lead to novel growth protocols for greenhouses.

Wageningen University and Research Centre
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need. For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at www.jobsat.wur.nl.