Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 42 000 students and 7 400 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

Project description

Chlorophyll is an essential molecule for life on earth as we know it. It is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate in enzymatic 20 steps. We have access to a unique collection of 357 barley mutants deficient in chlorophyll biosynthesis and chloroplast development. Typically we identify the gene deficient in a mutant and then we study the corresponding gene product and available allelic mutants. Thus, our work spans from biochemical and molecular studies to genetic analyses and physiological characterizations of plants.

In the present project we will focus on mutants, genes and proteins related to six loci. These will be studied in three work packages where the PhD student will be an important player and driver.

(1) Basic characterization of the cyclase component viridis-k.
Previous studies of viridis-k mutants suggest that viridis-k is involved in cyclase activity, which is the least known enzyme of the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway. We recently mapped and cloned viridis-k. The protein encoded by viridis-k will be studied in enzymatic assays.

 (2) Structural studies of Mg-chelatase.
The xantha-f, xantha-g and xantha-h genes encode the three proteins of the Mg-chelatase complex. Our structural studies suggest that the xantha-g and xantha-h gene products form a double hexameric complex using the xantha-f gene product as substrate. It is the xantha-f component that perform the Mg-chelatase reaction. In this project we would like to explore the new techniques within cryo-electron microscopy to obtain a better resolution of the complex. The work will be done in collaboration with Alexey Amunts (SciLifeLab, Stockholm) and Salam Al-Karadaghi (Lund University).

(3) Identification of the genes deficient in xantha-a and xantha-m.
Ten and five mutant alleles are available of the xantha-a and xantha-m mutants, respectively. The mutants are yellow since no chlorophyll is produced making the yellow carotenoids visible. No other information is available about xantha-a and xantha-m. Thus, any information obtained from xantha-a and xantha-m will be novel. By connecting the genes to a chlorophyll deficient phenotype their function will be revealed.

Required qualifications

• Master in Molecular Biology.
• Strong verbal and written communication skills in Swedish and English.
• Highly motivated with strong ability to work independently as well as to collaborate within a research group.
• Practical experience from working with barley and barley mutants is a merit.
• Practical experience of molecular and biochemical techniques such as genotyping-by-sequencing, bioinformatics, PCR, RNA work, cloning, protein purification, western blot, enzymatic measurements

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2018/306
  • Mats Hansson, professor , +46 46 222 49 80,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 25.Jan.2018
Last application date 15.Feb.2018 11:59 PM CET

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