Some unicellular microbes can differentiate into cysts to survive adverse conditions in nature or, in the case of pathogens, to infect the host. We study the cell biology of the eukaryotic pathogen Giardia intestinalis, which affects about five percent of the world's population. In addition to being a pathogen, it represents an excellent experimental model for evolutionary cell biology.

This PhD project awaits a candidate interested in the cell biology behind the transformation of an active eukaryotic cell into a dormant infectious stage. Projects will focus on characterizing cyst wall formation and the makeover of the cellular organelles using CRISPR/Cas9 genetics, live cell and electron microscopy of giardia. Bioinformatic exploration of eukaryotic genomes will be used to identify independent origins of cyst formation across the tree of life.

We are looking for a student with a background in cell biology and genetics, but most importantly a person with a creative mind who enjoys working on a unique cell biology model and is open to introducing new genetic/microscopic tools. We offer great research facilities and friendly working environment.

Five relevant publications of the research group:

Motyčková, A., Voleman, L., Najdrová, V., Arbonová, L., Benda, M., Dohnálek, V., Janowicz, N., Malych, R., Šuťák, R., Ettema, T. J. G., Svärd, S., Stairs, C. W., & Doležal, P. (2023). Adaptation of the late ISC pathway in the anaerobic mitochondrial organelles of Giardia intestinalis. PLoS Pathogens, 19(10).

Horáčková, V., Voleman, L., Hagen, K. D., Petrů, M., Vinopalová, M., Weisz, F., Janowicz, N., Marková, L., Motyčková, A., Najdrová, V., Tůmová, P., Dawson, S. C., & Doležal, P. (2022). Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in the tetraploid protist Giardia intestinalis. Open Biology, 12(4).

Tůmová, P., Voleman, L., Klingl, A., Nohýnková, E., Wanner, G., & Doležal, P. (2021). Inheritance of the reduced mitochondria of Giardia intestinalis is coupled to the flagellar maturation cycle. BMC Biology, 19(1), 1–20. 01129-7

Voleman, L., Najdrová, V., Ástvaldsson, Á., Tůmová, P., Einarsson, E., Švindrych, Z., Hagen, G. M., Tachezy, J., Svärd, S. G., & Doležal, P. (2017). Giardia intestinalis mitosomes undergo synchronized fission but not fusion and are constitutively associated with the endoplasmic reticulum. BMC Biology, 15(1), 1–27.

Fry, M. Y., Najdrová, V., Maggiolo, A. O., Saladi, S. M., Doležal, P., & Clemons, W. M. (2022). Structurally derived universal mechanism for the catalytic cycle of the tail-anchored targeting factor Get3. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 29(8).

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