Plant-Soil Microbiome Manipulation to Improve Wheat Resistance to Drought

Volcani Research Center

About the institute:

This is in the Inst. Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences. It is composed of researchers in all fields of environmental sciences. There are ca. 80 people in the institute including PIs, TAs and students and post docs. The post-doc position is in a group of environmental microbiology and microbial ecology.

Institute description:

We are looking for a post-doctoral fellow with experience in microbiology, microbial ecology, soil science or plant sciences to work on a recently funded BARD US-Israel Agricultural Research and Development Fund grant. The study is multidisciplinary and involves microbiology, plant sciences, next-generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatics. The research program is a collaboration between researchers at Hebrew University and the Volcani Institute (Israel) and Rush University (Chicago, IL, USA). The primary site of research will be at the Volcani Institute in Rishon LeZion (~9 miles from the center of Tel Aviv). The study will involve greenhouse and field experiments, wet-lab bench work, and bioinformatics. This research will focus on monitoring the effects of microbial amendments on in situ soil and plant root microbiome structure and function. Molecular tools, including cultivation-independent application of metagenome and meta-transcriptome sequencing, will be applied to understand effects of amendments on microbiome functions in plant rhizospheres. The driving hypothesis of this study is that in drought-prone environments (such as those found in Israel), indigenous wild wheat relatives co-evolved over millions of years with rhizosphere microbiomes to develop the means for tolerance of water stress. However, these traits likely have been lost during the more recent thousands of years of wheat domestication and breeding. Therefore, we expect that rhizosphere microbiomes sampled from roots of wild wheat relatives will be naturally enriched in microorganisms with genetic traits associated with plant drought tolerance. This project aims to address food security issues impacted by climate change, and operates with the goal of re-introducing drought-resisting beneficial plant-microbial associations that have been lost during plant domestication. For details, please contact the project PIs: Dr. Dror Minz Email: [email protected] Website: Dr. Stefan Green Email: [email protected] Website:

Required qualifications:

Ability to work independently and in a group.
Preferably experience with either microbiology, plant sciences or environmental chemistry.

Institute location:

Rishon LeZion