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Doctoral Research Position / Induction of tetrachloroethene respiration in Sulfurospirillum multivorans

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The Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute – in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are offering an international graduate training program. The

International Leibniz Research School (ILRS Jena)

gives doctoral researchers the possibility to prepare for their PhD exam in an ambitious program providing excellent research conditions.
We invite applications for a

Doctoral Researcher Position (Ref.No. ILRS_03/2015)
Induction of tetrachloroethene respiration in Sulfurospirillum multivorans

Dehalogenation processes driven by natural microbial communities contribute significantly to the global halogen cycle. Such microbial networks include organohalide-respiring bacteria (OHRB), which couple the reductive dechlorination or debromination of halogenated organic compounds to energy conservation via a chemiosmotic mechanism. The key enzyme in organohalide respiration is the reductive dehalogenase (RDase), which serves as a terminal oxidoreductase. The RDases are iron-sulfur proteins that contain a corrinoid cofactor at the active site. Most OHRB contain several RDase genes, the products of which are expected (or even shown) to have a different substrate spectrum. Evidence for substrate-dependent transcriptional regulation of the expression of RDase and RDase-associated genes is available.

The tetrachloroethene (PCE)-converting epsilonproteobacterium Sulfurospirillum multivorans serves as a model organism for the investigation of organohalide respiration. The organism displays an unusual type of long-term down-regulation of the RDase genes in the absence of PCE. The genome of S. multivorans was sequenced; in close proximity to the RDase genes and genes involved in the corrinoid cofactor biosynthesis open reading frames encoding putative regulatory proteins were identified. Proteomic and transcriptomic studies are currently underway to uncover the impact of PCE on gene expression. The aims of the project are: i) the definition of the regulon in S. multivorans , which is controlled by the availability of PCE, and ii) the identification and characterization of proteins involved in PCE-sensing. The experimental work will include cultivation of OHRB, transcript level analysis, induction experiments, expression of regulatory proteins, their structural and functional characterization, and ligand-binding studies.

We expect:
  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent ) in Natural or Life Sciences. Research at ILRS is centred around “Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions”. Candidates about to earn their degree are welcome to apply.
  • high motivation and interest to join one of the research areas of ILRS
  • creativity and interest in shaping your own thesis project
  • an integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in our lively community
  • very good communication skills in English

We offer:
  • a top-level research environment
  • efficient supervision by a team of advisors
  • a comprehensive mentoring program (cf. Program of Study)
  • courses in state-of-the-art technologies and soft skills
  • strong communication and interaction between the involved institutions
  • Jena – City of Science: innovative business activities, successful scientific centres and a vibrant cultural scene around the famous Friedrich Schiller University
The three-year Doctoral Researcher position is available starting from June 2015. Salary will be paid according to TV-L (salary agreement for public service employees). HKI is an equal opportunity employer.

Further information:
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Diekert, PI,
Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator,

The application process is handled exclusively online. Please acquaint yourself with the scientific projects offered on our website and thoroughly follow the instructions for the online application process:

Deadline for application: March 13, 2015.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend a recruitment meeting in Jena (envisaged date: May 11-13, 2015).


Art des Bewerbungszugangs
The application process is handled exclusively online. Please acquaint yourself with the scientific projects offered on our website and thoroughly follow the instructions for the online application process:
Kontakt für Bewerbungen
Dr. Christine Vogler, ILRS Coordinator,

Details der Stellenanzeige

Befristete Anstellung
Berufserfahrung nicht vorausgesetzt
Deutschland (Thüringen)
07745 Jena
Biologie & Life Sciences, Biotechnologie, Chemie