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9 Postdoctoral positions and 3 PhD studentships

In the context of the 6-year ERC Synergy-funded Sympore project “Plasmodesmata, Symplasmic pores for plant cell-to-cell communication” the research groups of Wolf B. Frommer and Rüdiger Simon @ Heinrich Heine Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany, Waltraud Schulze @ University Hohenheim, and Wolfgang Baumeister @ Max Planck Institute Biochemistry, Martinsried, are offering 

9 Postdoctoral positions and 3 PhD studentships

to study

composition, structure, dynamics, function and regulation of the enigmatic plant cell-cell connections, plasmodesmata

The evolution of multicellularity in plants encompassed the development of cell-cell bridges, the plasmodesmata (PD), that mediate transport of small molecules, RNAs, and proteins. PDs are highly regulated multimembrane multiprotein pores whose precise composition, structure and function is not understood. 

In SYMPORE, 4 research teams will closely collaborate to develop and employ new technologies to unravel the complexities of plasmodesmata.

1. Systematic identification of PD components (Schulze).

The team is specialized in proteomics and will identify PD components, identify complexes and determine membrane composition to build a PD blueprint.

2. Localization and dynamics of PD components (Simon).

The team uses advanced imaging to characterize the dynamics of PD proteins, their delivery, turnover and their interactions, and the role of receptor kinases in cell-cell signaling.

3. Determining structures of PD and their molecular building blocks (Baumeister). 

The team is a world leader in structural biology and will determine the structure of PD proteins by cryoEM and of PD by cryoET to near atomic level.

4. Unraveling PD activities in signaling and transport (Frommer).

The team will employ new assay systems to characterise trafficking of substrates through PD and the role of PD components for transport.

Qualification profile

  • PhD degree (postdocs), master or bachelor (PhD students) in Biology or a related field
  • High level of motivation, accuracy and reliability, team spirit and hands-on mentality
  • Excellent communication skills in English
  • Good knowledge of MS Office applications and data analysis software
  • Advanced experience with statistics

We offer: The candidate will work in a highly motivated, international environment, embedded in an experienced team of four research groups from three different institutions. Start date is as soon as possible. The positions are full-time with salary and benefits commensurate with a public service positions in the states North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden Württemberg and Bavaria, Germany (TV-L E 13, 100 %).The position will be filled by a temporary contract that is limited to the period which is necessary to gain further scientific expertise (such as the preparation for a subsequent qualification period). The limitation of the contract complies to § 2 Abs. 1 WissZeitVG. In areas where women are underrepresented, female applicants will be preferred in case of equal qualification. Applicants with a disability as described in SGB IX (§ 2 Abs. 2, 3) will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Send application to: Please send your application including CV, names and email addresses of three references, and a one-page motivation letter as a single pdf document to . Indicate your preference for the respective research group and topic (e.g. Baumeister, cryoET)

Graduate student or Postdoc position

Optogenetics and Optosensing in plants

Applications are invited for a PhD or postdoctoral position at the department of Biology of the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. The project is based on a collaboration between the Institute for Developmental Genetics (http://devgen.hhu.de/; head: Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Simon) and the Institute for Molecular Physiology (https://molecular-physiology.hhu.de/; head: Prof. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer). The goal of the project is to explore signaling pathways mediated by ions, amino acids and small peptides using novel optogenetic tools. 

Optical sensor tools have been established in animal systems already for many years, while their application for the study of plant signaling systems in development or in response to external triggers has not yet been fully explored. In this project we will advance optogenetic control of gene expression use light-gated ion channels and optical sensors for voltage to study pattern formation processes in root meristem development and plant responses to wounding. 

The position is available from the 1st of January 2021, funding is provided for at least three years. We are looking for a candidate with a strong interest in signaling systems, who is highly motivated, able to work in international team, ideally with experience in calcium, pH or voltage signaling and a strong background in biochemistry and electrophysiology. 

For application, please send a single pdf file including CV, description of academic education including a transcript of records (for PhD candidates), previous research experience and addresses of references to 

Principal Investigator

Wolf B. Frommer
Alexander von Humboldt Professor

Universitätsstr. 1
40225 Düsseldorf
Building: 26.14
Room: 00.116
+49 211 81-12779

Master Thesis

Genome sequencing of rice varieties and evaluation of the efficiency of CRISPR-mediated genome editing

Tools: Nextgen Sequencing und Bionformatics

Genome editing provides an elegant new research tools that enables the targeted alteration of specific regions in plant genomes. The goal of the project will be to determine the sequence of rice varieties as well as genome-edited lines and to identify possible off target effects, somaclonal events and the efficacy of removal of the T-DNA. DNA will be extracted from various elite lines of rice as well as edited lines, followed by Illumina sequencing at an external company. Subsequently, genome assembly will be performed and sequences will be analyzed for differences in the genomes of parental and filial lines using bioinformatics.

The thesis will be performed under supervision of Dr. Thomas Hartwig and Dr. Van Thi Luu.


  • Experience with Linux
  • Background in statistics


  • Basic experience in molecular biology (DNA extraction)
  • Knowledge in bioinformatics
  • Advanced computer skills

Start date: As soon as possible

Send your application with CV to: