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Wheat Field Genetics posts at John Innes, Norwich, UK

dee rawsthorne (JIC) dee.rawsthorne at bbsrc.ac.uk
Fri Apr 8 08:09:47 EST 2005

Project Leader Training in Wheat Field-Genetics

The John Innes Centre is an international centre for studies on wheat 
genetics and genomics, and has a long history of notable 
contributions in this field.  The strength of the research has been 
to take genetic and genomic discoveries in the laboratory out into 
the field, and to identify variation in the field useful for 
genetical and molecular analysis in the lab.   We now wish to recruit 
individuals who will develop research programmes involving 
identification of novel and useful traits in the field, development 
of novel germplasm from exotic parents, and use aneuploid and 
conventional forms of genetic analysis to identify new genes 
controlling biologically interesting and agronomically important 
traits.  Their long-term aim would be to develop novel breeding 
paradigms for the benefit of wheat breeding.

We hope to attract ambitious scientists currently trained in crop or 
other disciplines who see the huge potential at the moment in 
translating fundamental discoveries in plants to important advances 
in breeding and crop production. Initially, they will undertake a 
five-year training period in wheat field genetics working closely 
with existing JIC scientists on pre-established programmes. However, 
the aim is that they develop their own groups contributing 
field-based activities to interdisciplinary groupings of JIC 
scientists focused on key agronomic problems. In the longer term, 
they will provide the interface between JIC and the UK cereal 
industry, through individual one-on-one projects and involvement in 
the Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN), and develop national 
and international collaborations with major centres such as INRA and 

The job descriptions described below are for ongoing projects and are 
likely to form the basis of the research the successful applicant 
would undertake. However, other areas of research are also possible 
depending on the previous experience of the applicant.

Project 1: Genetic control of yield potential in UK wheats

1.      To identify major genes and QTL controlling yield potential 
in UK and exotic wheat germplasm by exploiting existing recombinant 
doubled haploid populations and backcross inbred line populations. 
Traits under study would include grain size, leaf area duration, 
tillering ability.  New recombinant germplasm based on aneuploid and 
doubled haploids would also be developed.

2.      To link genetic variation for these target traits with 
molecular and physiological studies underpinning yield variation for 
both source and sink traits such as stem carbohydrate reserves, leaf 
senescence, water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency.
Project 2: Genetic control of end-use quality in UK wheats

1.      To identify major genes and QTL controlling aspects of 
end-use quality in UK and exotic winter wheats, including 
bread-making quality, animal-feed suitability, and industrial 
processing through exploiting existing recombinant doubled haploid 
populations and backcross inbred line populations. Traits under study 
would include non-storage protein components of bread-making quality, 
grain texture, grain protein content, starch composition.  

2.      To carry out crossing programmes to develop new recombinant 
germplasm based on aneuploid and doubled haploid approaches to 
genetic analysis.

The projects will require an energetic and enthusiastic post-doctoral 
scientist with excellent experience and background in genetics and 
molecular biology, and knowledge of genetical analysis in the 
genomics era.  However, this need not be in wheat or even a crop 
species and we would encourage applicants from a range of backgrounds 
who have the enthusiasm and dedication to make a difference to crop 
genetics, and a strong willingness to take genomics studies from the 
lab into the field.  We would expect them to display excellent 
communication skill so that they can interact with the plant genetics 
and plant breeding communities in the UK and abroad. 

Application forms and further information are available from our web 
or from the Chair of the Search Committee, Professor John Snape 
(<mailto:john.snape at bbsrc.ac,uk>john.snape at bbsrc.ac,uk) and can be 
returned to us by either e-mail to 
<mailto:jic.personnel at bbsrc.ac.uk?subject=Project%20Leader%20application>jicpers at bbsrc.ac.uk 
or by post to The Human Resources Department, John Innes Centre, 
Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7UH quoting post 
reference number 14 63/88. The closing date for applications will be 
30 April 2005.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No223852) grant-aided 
by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is 
an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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