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Validation of candidate gene associated with grain-size variation in barley

MSc/BSc thesis | Groß Lüsewitz

The project

Seed size is one of the major determinants of grain yield. We use barley as a model to understand the genetic regulators controlling grain size. We detected several major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with seed size related parameters in HvDRR population of barley (Shrestha et al., 2022; JXB/erac369). Fine-mapping of selected QTLs identified promising candidate genes which might regulate grain size variation. The next step involves functional validation of those candidate genes using transgenic approaches. Currently, we are offering the following (two MSc/BSc) project.

Research activities and methods

The activities of the current project involve (but are not limited to)

•     Preparation of binary vectors expressing CRISPR-RNA Cas9 system.

•     Transformation of barley embryos and regeneration of transgenic plants.

•     Genotyping and selection of transgene positive lines and analyze genome-editing events in the target genes.

•     Evaluate seed size and anatomy of floral organs.

We highly encourage and welcome additional inputs on research ideas during the study that will further understanding of the research question.

Qualification and interest

We are looking for candidates with the following qualification and interest:

  • Enrolled in a graduate program in biological or agricultural science, biotechnology or related fields.
  • Experience (or at least willingness to learn) on laboratory methods such as nucleic acid extraction, PCR, molecular cloning, plant tissue culture, tissue sectioning, microscopy and Sanger sequencing.
  • Interest in plant cultivation and phenotyping.
  • Interest of (or exposed to) data collection, statistical analysis and interpretation.
  • Competent in written and spoken English.
  • Motivation and good work ethics.

Our offer

We offer a research oriented MSc thesis at the Institute for Breeding Research on Agricultural Crops, which is part of the Julius Kühn Institute, the Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants. At our institute, an international and multi-disciplinary group with expertise on biostatistics, quantitative genetics, plant genomics, molecular genetics, plant breeding, bioinformatics and plant physiology works on current topics of breeding methodology and crop genetics. Our institute offers beside an enabling working environment and friendly colleagues, state-of-the-art plant cultivation facilities, laboratories and an experimental field. Our institute can be reached within 17 minutes by train from Rostock central station.

More information

For further details on project description and application, please contact

Dr. Asis Shrestha
Email: asis.shrestha@  julius-kuehn.  de

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