Ecological relevance of a natural genetic variation in root system
morphology in Arabidopsis thaliana
The phenotypic variation observed between individuals or populations
is partly the result of exposure to different environments and partly
the result of genetic differences. Genetic differences drive adaptive
evolution of organisms to changes in environmental conditions. We
have exploited natural genetic variation to isolate a novel regulator
of root system morphology in the model plant system Arabidopsis
thaliana, the BREVIS RADIX (BRX) gene (Mouchel, Briggs & Hardtke
2004, Genes & Development, 18: 700-714). BRX is a novel plant-
specific gene and the founding member of the highly conserved BRX
gene family. The activities of the corresponding proteins are
currently being investigated.
As part of an interdisciplinary project between the groups of
Christian Hardtke (http://www.unil.ch/dbmv ) and Giorgina Bernasconi
(http://www.unil.ch/dee), a postdoctoral position is available to
study natural genetic variation in root morphology in the model plant
species Arabidopsis thaliana. The successful candidate will test
whether the naturally occurring loss-of-function BRX allele confers
an adaptive advantage in its natural habitat or in particular
physiological conditions. This will include analysis of competition
within- and between genotypes in tissue culture and greenhouse
experiments, and mapping of BRX genotypes in natural populations.
Funding is available for two years, beginning October 2005.
Applications are invited from scientists with skills and interests in
plant evolutionary ecology, experimental design and statistical
analysis. Basic skills in molecular biology would be a plus. Please
send your application including a cover letter detailing research
interests and experience, a CV, and contact information of two
references to both Christian Hardtke and Giorgina Bernasconi. For
more information, please contact Christian.Hardtke at unil.ch or
Giorgina.Bernasconi at unil.ch.
University of Lausanne provides excellent facilities, a lively
intellectual and social environment and is beautifully located in
Switzerland at the shore of Lake Geneva.
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