When does evolution repeat itself? Evolution is driven by a combination of deterministic forces and stochasticity, whose relative importance remains a matter of debate. Leveraging the natural variation of wild relatives of the plant model Arabidopsis, this project focuses on functional characterization of key candidate genes that were repeatedly recruited in adaptation to a strong selective pressure, toxic serpentine soils. By studying genes harboring independent mutations, the project aims at uncovering general mechanisms determining which portion of genome evolves in a predictable manner. The candidate will address the function of novel gene alleles on molecular and cellular level by using methods of molecular biology (molecular cloning, CRISPR/Cas9, protein biochemistry), cell biology (protein localization) and advanced microscopy (live cell imaging, image analysis), as well as the bioinformatic approaches of ecological genomics (selection scans, environmental association analyses), resulting in a unique experimental profile of the candidate. 

Strong motivation for plant molecular and/or evolutionary biology and independence is a requirement, previous experience with molecular biology methods is beneficial. The PhD will be carried out under the co-supervision of Matyáš Fendrych and Filip Kolář. The student will join established international team of M. Fendrych at Department of Experimental Plant Biology. 

Five relevant publications of the research group: 

Konečná V, Bray S, Vlček J, Bohutínská M, Požárová D, Roy Choudhury R, Bollmann-Giolai A, Flis P, Salt DE, Parisod C, Yant L, Kolář F (2021): Parallel adaptation in autopolyploid Arabidopsis arenosa is dominated by repeated recruitment of shared alleles. Nature Communications 12: 4979 

Bohutínská M, Vlček J, Yair S, Laenen B, Konečná V, Fracassetti M, Slotte T, Kolář F (2021): Genomic basis of parallel adaptation varies with divergence in Arabidopsis and its relatives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118: e2022713118

Serre NBC, Kralik D, Yun P, Slouka Z, Shabala S, Fendrych M. 2021. AFB1 controls rapid auxin signalling through membrane depolarization in Arabidopsis thaliana root. Nature Plants 7: 1229-1238.

Serre NBC, Wernerova D, Vittal P, Dubey SM, Medvecka E, Jelinkova A, Petrasek J, Grossmann G, Fendrych M. 2022. The AUX1-AFB1-CNGC14 module establishes longitudinal root surface pH profile. bioRxiv 2022.11.23.517700

Wu S, Wen Y, Serre NBC, Laursen CCH, Dietz AG, Taylor BR, Drobizhev M, Molina RS, Aggarwal A, Rancic V, Becker M, Ballanyi K, Podgorski K, Hirase H, Nedergaard M, Fendrych M, Lemieux MJ, Eberl DF, Kay AR, Campbell RE, Shen Y. 2022. A sensitive and specific genetically-encoded potassium ion biosensor for in vivo applications across the tree of life. PLoS Biology 20: e3001772.

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