PhD candidate (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne

Type of Job

Young Researchers

Plant Research

Job Code:

Job offer from July 01, 2021

The research group Evolution of Meiosis (Marques lab), belonging to the Department of Chromosome Biology at the MPIPZ - Cologne, is interested in the study of meiotic adaptations and recombination mechanisms taking place in holocentric plants. Here, we address these questions using as model plant species from the genus Rhynchospora, which have species with both chiasmatic and achiasmatic inverted meiosis.

Project summary:

Holocentric chromosomes differ from monocentric chromosomes by the absence of a primary constriction (known as centromere) due to a diffuse kinetic activity along the entire chromosome arms. This specialized type of chromosome structure is found in several lineages of plants and animals, with multiple independent origins. Recent studies have shown that, in fact, holocentric chromosomes are composed by multiple centromere-like domains distributed genome-wide (holocentromeres). Position and distribution of chromosome compartments (i.e. topological association domains) and meiotic recombination are strongly influenced by the presence of centromeres. In principle, holocentric organisms show chromosomal adaptations related to chromosome segregation and functioning, such as inverted meiosis. However, lack of detailed genomic studies on holocentric plants hampers the elucidation of the impact of such chromosome structure in a comprehensive evolutionary and functional perspective. Understanding how the genome architecture and how recombination are regulated in holocentric genomes will potentially unveil new molecular mechanisms of great interest for the scientific community.

In the framework of this research project, which aims to elucidate the genome organization and architecture, meiotic adaptations and recombination frequencies in the holocentric plants of Rhynchospora, we are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate (m/f/d).

Your tasks:

  • You are going to work on the genome assembly as well as on the development of recombination maps and estimation of recombination frequencies in holocentric plants
  • You are going to perform comparative 3D genome analysis using genome-wide detection of chromatin contacts
  • You will perform several bioinformatic tasks regarding comparative genomics and recombination analysis based on single cell sequencing

You fit us:

  • You are bright, highly motivated, and enthusiastic person
  • You are interested in evolutionary genomics, meiosis, genome architecture
  • You have good communication skills
  • You have the ability to work independently, as well as part of a team

Your qualification and skills:

  • You are about to finish* or own a Master degree in Bioinformatics or related field
  • You have a background in genomics, recombination analysis, meiosis, evolution
  • You do have solid English skills, which are a prerequisite for an effective work in our multicultural working environment


Please send your application application including CV and a motivation letter through the online system, by latest August 31th 2021.

For the PhD position a project based limited position for 36 months will be offered, starting at the earliest on October 1th 2021. Salary and working hours are in accordance with the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society for junior scientists. Payment (65 % E 13) and benefits are according to the German TVöD-Bund.

If you need further information on the position offered, please feel free to contact .

We encourage students that are on their last year of obtaining their Master degree to apply for this position.

Go to Editor View