PhD position in Molecular Microbial Ecology

The project aims to understand the importance of plant associated Methylobacterium for plant development and health.

Methylobacterium spp. are common leaf epiphytes that represent an important bacterial population on leaves.

The project will include studies based on a newly established model system consisting of Arabidopsis thaliana and a Methylobacterium model strain the genome sequence of which is currently determined.

The project encompasses various analytic techniques and microscopy. Experiences in the field of plant-microbe interactions are of advantage.

The position is available immediately.

Application Enquiries to: Dr C Knief

Please send your letter of application outlining research experiences and interests, curriculum vitae, and contact details of two referees via Email to

Department of Biology
ETH Zürich
ETH-Zentrum, SOK B1
Sonneggstrasse 23
CH-8092 Zurich
Telephone: 044 632 59 42

Sy A, Timmers AC, Knief C, Vorholt, JA Methylotrophic metabolism is advantageous for Methylobacterium extorquens during colonization of Medicago truncatula under competitive conditions.

Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71, 7245-7252

Nieto Penalver CG, Morin D, Cantet F, Saurel O, Milon A, Vorholt JA (2006) Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 produces a novel type of acyl-homoserine lactone with a double unsaturated side chain under methylotrophic growth conditions.

FEBS Lett. 580:561-567

Gourion B, Rossignol M, Vorholt JA A proteomic study of Methylobacterium extorquens reveals a novel type of response regulator essential for epiphytic growth.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, 103, 13186-13191

Scholarship 2017/18

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