Postdoctoral fellowship in Plant Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Job Description

A three-year fellowship (2 years plus 1 renewable year) is available at the Department of Plant Biomolecules and Biotechnology (EA2106 BBV), University of Tours, France, from January 2018 to December 2019/2020. This fellowship is open to Post-Doctoral researchers and is associated to the CatharSIS research program financed by the “Region Centre” (France) under the supervision of Dr. Vincent Courdavault.

The research program of the present position focuses on the elucidation and metabolic engineering of the biosynthetic pathway of the highly valuable alkaloids produced in the medicinal plant Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus). The recruited researcher will develop two main axes of investigation based on (1) the identification of the remaining unknown enzymes and transporters of the alkaloid biosynthetic pathway through conventional molecular biology approaches and (2) the transfer of the whole pathway in yeast to achieve a controlled production of alkaloids. Identification of uncharacterized steps of the alkaloid biosynthetic pathway will be conducted through NGS-derived transcriptomic approaches performed in the context of a plant/insect interaction enhancing the production of alkaloids. Candidate genes will be further characterized by biochemical assays performed in yeast and/or recombinant proteins, by gene down-regulation through virus induced gene silencing and by analysis of their cellular expression and protein subcellular localization. Metabolic engineering will be achieved through elaboration of yeast strain stably expressing the alkaloid biosynthetic genes and by the culture in bioreactors.

The recruited researcher will also work in close collaboration with several assistant professors and other post-doc of EA2106 possessing recognized skills/experience in the study of the alkaloid biosynthesis/metabolic engineering; and will benefit from dedicated funding to conduct his/her research.

To apply to this position, candidates must cover a wide range of expertise including molecular biology techniques, biochemistry and yeast technologies. Experience in yeast culture in bioreactors would also be advantageous.


Nature of the fellowship: The appointment will cover a period of two-year, renewable for one year. The eligible fellow will be granted social security benefits and will be paid 27 000-28 000€ (net wage) per year. Please apply before January 30, 2018.