Postdoctoral Researcher (Molecular Cytogeneticist)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Crop Genetics at the John Innes Centre


Graham Moore’s group has focused on two areas. With his earlier studies, the group worked on establishing the similarity in the organisation and sequences of the genomes of wheat and other cereal species. This discovery of “genetic synteny” has allowed information from species with relatively simple genomes (such as rice) to be exploited to understand the highly complex wheat genome. Following this, the group has elucidated the mechanism of the “pairing locus”, which stabilises the polyploid genomes of hexaploid bread wheat and tetraploid durum wheat, by preventing mispairing, and exchange between related sets of chromosomes during meiosis. This has facilitated the use of mutations in the locus to transfer useful genes from related species.

The aim of the current study is to characterise the locus on chromosome 5D in wheat which when deleted, makes wheat chromosome pairing during meiosis very sensitive to low temperatures. The loss of this locus leads to almost complete failure in chromosome exchange.

The role:

The postholder will undertake deletion mutant analysis in wheat to identify lines carrying deletions in the long arm of 5D. These lines will be phenotyped under low temperatures for the effect of the deletion on chromosome pairing. Assessments will also be made as to whether the deletions increase the sensitive of wheat meiosis to high temperature. The postholder will carry out the work under limited supervision, and perform cell biological approaches to understand the basis of low temperature effect on pairing and exchange during meiosis. The postholder is expected to have a PhD in biological sciences or equivalent relevant experience.

Graham Moore is the line manager for the postholder, with Professor Peter Shaw being a co-supervisor of the project. Tracie Draeger within the group will help with the development the populations, identify deletion lines and score them. Azahara Martin within the group possesses skills in wheat cell biology and cytogenetics. Therefore, the group has all the background skills to support the postholder with this study. The postholder will interact with the support staff running the glasshouses and environment facilities, as well as microscopy unit. The postholder also will interact with our collaborators/colleagues in Spain.

The ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate will hold a PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in biological sciences or related discipline, have a proven record in both oral presentation and scientific writing and have a background in molecular biology. A demonstrated ability to perform research, develop novel ideas, and work independently using initiative is also essential.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This post is for a contract of 36 months.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 reference 1003409.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The closing date for applications will be 18thFebruary 2018.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.