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PhD in Microbiome-mediated barley drought resistance

Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 1 February 2023 or later.

The PhD position is part of “BarleyMicroBreed - Strategies for breeding climate change resilient barley – genetically equipped to optimized root-microbiome interactions”. In this large-scale project, we will investigate the hypothesis that optimized interactions between plant roots and the existing soil microbiota can improve crop plant resource efficiency and drought resilience. The overall objective of BarleyMicroBreed is to identify the links between barley genome components and root microbiomes that facilitate drought stress resilience. The project is carried out in collaboration with colleagues from Copenhagen University, BOKU (Austria), ICARDA (Lebanon), MetasysX (Germany), Photon Systems Instruments (Czech Republic), Eurofins Genomics (Germany) and Lantmannen (Sweden).

The specific aim of the PhD project will be to analyse the microbiota from roots of 600 barley cultivars grown at field experiments in Lebanon, Morocco and Austria by metabarcoding and relate microbiota composition to drought stress responses and other phenotypic characters of the cultivars. The project will be highly integrated into the BarleyMicroBreed project, and you will therefore collaborate closely with colleagues from AU and the other partners involved in BarleyMicroBreed. You will thus primarily be working with metabarcoding of microbial communities and data analysis including integration of data with barley phenotypic data. During your PhD you are expected to work 3-6 months in another lab outside Denmark.

Read more about the postion here.