Postdoctoral position

Ljerka Kunst kunst at UNIXG.UBC.CA
Thu May 23 21:03:09 EST 1996

LAB:	Ljerka Kunst, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
DURATION:  3 years (depending on satisfactory completion of year 1)
SUBJECT: Very long chain fatty acid biosynthesis in seeds of Arabidopsis

       Applications are invited for a POSTDOCTORAL POSITION available
immediately in my laboratory to study the pathway for very long chain fatty
acid biosynthesis (VLCFA, C20 or longer) in the seeds of the Brassicaceae,
using Arabidopsis as a model system. 
       VLCFAs are used for a variety of industrial applications and
increasing their content in oilseeds would result in higher value vegetable
oils. Identification of all the components of the VLCFA biosynthetic pathway
and their subcellular organization are essential steps towards effective
modification of oilseed Brassicas by molecular-genetic means. As a first
step towards that goal we have isolated mutants with lesions in VLCFA
production (Kunst et al., 1992, Plant Physiol. Biochem. 30:425-434).  One
gene found by mutation that resulted in a dramatic decrease in the seed
VLCFAs was FATTY ACID ELONGATION 1 (FAE1).   Recently, the FAE1 gene,
encoding the VLCFA condensing enzyme, was isolated (James et al. 1995, Plant
Cell 7:309-319).  Using this gene we are addressing the following questions:
What is the exact subcellular location of VLCFA biosynthesis? Do VLCFA
elongation enzymes function as a large operational complex? What are the
biochemical properties of the FAE1 protein, the VLCFA condensing enzyme ?
What are the  structural features required for the FAE1 enzyme activity as
probed by site-directed mutagenesis or in vivo in yeast mutants? What are
the limits to increasing VLCFA levels in oilseeds by genetic engineering?
For more information please see our web page at 
     The successful applicant will join one of the above projects, depending
on his/her experience and personal interests. A strong background in
protein/enzyme characterization and basic molecular biology techniques
and/or yeast genetics and molecular biology are highly desirable. Prior
experience with plants is not required. Position has a starting salary of
~$24,000/yr plus benefits. The University of British Columbia is a first
class university with a large groups of scientists focusing on plant
research.  It is located in Vancouver, in the Pacific Northwest, known for
its spectacular scenery and exceptional recreational opportunities. If
interested, please send your curriculum vitae + list of publications, a
brief statement of your research interests and names and addresses of 3
referees to: Dr. Ljerka Kunst, Department of Botany, University of British
Columbia, 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver,B.C. V6T 1Z4, Canada.  FAX (604)
822-6089. E-mail: kunst at Review of applications will begin
immediately and continue until the position is filled. 
       (Please post in your Department. Also, if you know someone who might be
interested, please pass this information on.) 

Ljerka Kunst
Department of Botany
University of British Columbia
6270 University Blvd.
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4

Phone: (604) 822-2351
FAX:    (604) 822-6089
E-mail: kunst at

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