Transforming Agriculture, Perennially


| Partnerships, Perennial Oilseeds

New Joint Post-Doctoral Fellowship in De Novo Domestication Opens at HudsonAlpha

Long-time partners HudsonAlpha and The Land Institute are working to accelerate the de novo domestication of perennial grain crops, announcing a new Postdoctoral Associate role at HudsonAlpha’s Harkess/Clevenger Lab in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama, sponsored by The Land Institute.

The postdoc will develop and implement methods for hybrid low-coverage whole-genome plus bait-based genotyping to simultaneously genotype individual Silphium integrifolium plants for genomic selection and reveal information about their pathogen load at the time of sampling. Testing this hypothesis and using HudsonAlpha’s Khufu genotyping platform to map plant traits of interest will lead to the development of new tools for silflower breeders and high-impact publications. In addition, several large, extensively phenotyped (but never genotyped) silflower and other new perennial grain species, including Onobrychis viciifolia (sainfoin) populations, are available and should enable rapid production of agriculturally relevant knowledge.

This position is co-advised by Alex HarkessJosh Clevenger, and one or more scientists from The Land Institute. The role provides the opportunity to travel to Kansas and learn field and lab breeding and plant pathology techniques.

“Until recently, researchers had trouble sequencing the silphium genome because of its very large chromosomes. But with new technological advances and the creation of this new position, we can publish the first reference genomes for silphium,” says David Van Tassel, Lead Scientist for the Oilseed Program at The Land Institute. “This reference genome will help plant breeders understand perennial silphium’s potential as an oilseed crop for food and other uses.”

“We are excited to deepen our long-term collaboration with HudsonAlpha and optimistic about this project providing us with powerful new tools for silphium perennial oilseed improvement,” according to Kathryn Turner, Lead Scientist for Crop Protection Genetics at The Land Institute. “In addition to the reference genome, the postdoc will use the silphium genome to develop practical methods for identifying and monitoring plant diseases and genetic fingerprinting (genotyping) of individual silphium plants.”

HudsonAlpha is now accepting applications.

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