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Theses, Internships & Jobs

Internships, Bachelor and Master Theses

If you are interested in working in our team, please contact directly Macarena Marín ( 

PhD and Postdoc positions

We are currently looking for Postdocs and PhD students. We are happy to accept outstanding individuals that can bring their own fellowship. We of course offer support during the fellowship application process.

Open PhD Position

Identification of novel legume genes required for symbiotic compatibility

To overcome nitrogen limitation legumes symbiotically associate with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Compatible associations result in the intracellular accommodation of the bacterial symbiont inside the inner cells of a specialised organ, called the root nodule. Poorly compatible associations can result in nodule organogenesis. However, these often exhibit suboptimal rhizobia infection and reduced nitrogen fixation, which leads to a decreased plant yield (Melino et al., 2012). To identify novel genes determining compatibility, we will exploit the phenotypic variation of a collection of Lotus japonicus ecotypes in response to Rhizobium leguminosarum strains, which not only can associate with multiple Lotus species, but induces distinct species- and ecotype-specific nodulation phenotypes (Gossmann et al., 2012). The aim of this project is to identify and characterise novel genes determining symbiotic compatibility between rhizobia and legumes. Candidate genes identified by quantitative trade locus (QTL) analysis and Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) will be validated by genome-editing (CRISPR/Cas9) and the encoded proteins will be characterised by cell biological and biochemical methods. With this we aim to expand our understanding of compatibility, one major limitation for yield improvement in sustainale agriculture.

We are looking for a motivated student who can work accurately and think independently, has excellent writing and communication skills in English and enjoys working in an open and multicultural environment. Prior experience in plant genetics, biochemistry and/or microscopy is advantageous. 

If you are interested, please apply to the LSM graduate school (

The application deadline for the graduate school is the 6th of December.

Please also send your application including your CV, the names of two referees and a motivation letter stating why you are interested in the topic to