PhD project: Truffle production: an affair of three? Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and Friedrich Schiller University Jena • International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles (IMPRS) • Jena

Germany Universities


August 16, 2022


Open Positions 1

Time Span as soon as possible for 3 years Application Deadline 16 Aug 2022 Financing yes Type of Position

  • PhD - Individual Supervisor
  • PhD - Doctoral Programme
  • Field of Research

  • Mathematics / Natural Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine/Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutritional Sciences
  • Subjects Global Biogeochemical Cycles Description In cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry houses a unique and flexible research program that grants German and foreign students a broad selection of learning opportunities while still maintaining a research focus. The International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles (IMPRS-gBGC) offers a PhD program specializing in global biogeochemistry and related Earth system sciences.

    The PhD program

    Successful applicants will be part of the IMPRS-gBGC. Research focuses on the distribution of elements essential to life and the climate among the components of the Earth system and the interaction between biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, land and oceans.

    Besides doing research for their PhD project, PhD candidates also benefit from a three-month external research visit, specialised courses in e.g. statistics, Earth observation, modelling and analytical techniques, as well as in soft skills. The IMPRS-gBGC is thus an excellent starting platform for a successful career in a field related to global biogeochemical cycles and Earth system science.

    Project description

    Among the ectomycorrhizal fungi, basidiomycetes and ascomycetes can undergo a mutual symbiosis with host trees. The interactions with the surrounding soil, as well as water and nutrient acquisition from soil, is performed by the fungal partner, while the tree provides photosynthesis products. In addition to the intimate relationship to the host with the ectomycorrhizal root tips, environmental interactions influenced by soil microbes as well as the hydrosphere in reach of the soil hyphae of the fungus are essential to structure the relationship. Cultivating the high-priced truffles in truffle gardens has been attempted, but the success seems unpredictable so far. In studying the associations with helper bacteria and the present microflora influencing the biogeochemical processes in the ectomycorrhizosphere we want to identify helpful accessory microbes with respect to fitness in times of climate changes and determine their role in fruiting body development in association with mushroom growers from Thuringia.

    Working group & planned collaborations

    At FSU, the Institute of Microbiology's chair on Microbial Communication investigates ectomycorrhiza for some 20 years. There, the basidiomycete Tricholoma vaccinum has been in the focus of research. In adopting the molecular techniques and microbiome analyses to the ascomycetous Tuber species, we want to use the knowledge to identify helpful association for truffle cultivation. A collaboration with "Goldpilze" and the Erfurt Research Centre for Horticultural Crops (FGK), we have partners strong in basic and applied sciences.


    Applications to the IMPRS-gBGC are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified students from all countries. Prerequisites for this PhD project are:

    - A Master's degree in Microbiology, Biology or Biogeosciences or other disciplines related to environmental sciences - Lab skills:

    Microscopic techniques (fluorescence LSM, high resolution microscopy), Microbiology methods Molecular techniques (PCR, qPCR, RNA/DNA extraction, …) - Of advantage is experience in FT-MS techniques (TOF, FT-ICR-MS or Orbitrap) - Computational skills: Bioinformatics, Processing and analyzing large data sets, Statistics - Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, knowledge of German is an asset

    The Max Planck Society (MPS) strives for gender equality and diversity. The MPS seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The MPS is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

    More information about the IMPRS-gBGC + application: https: // www.

    Working Language

  • English
  • German
  • Language of Dissertation

  • English
  • German
  • Required Documents

  • CV
  • Reports, certificates
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Others : two references
  • More Information https:// www. imprs-

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