The MPI for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam is looking for:

2 Postdocs (m/f/d)

in the group „Root Biology and Mycorrhiza” of Prof. Dr. Caroline Gutjahr. The position is available immediately.


Nutrient acquisition is the basis of life. With the ERC project ‘SymbioticExchange’ we aim at understanding nutrient exchange in the arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis of plants with nutrient-delivering fungi. This symbiosis is detected in the oldest land plant fossils and considered a prerequisite for plant life on land. It is wide-spread in the plant kingdom and its secondary loss is the exception. AM improves plant nutrition, stress resistance and general plant performance. The hallmark of the symbiosis are the arbuscules, highly branched hyphal structures, which develop in root cortex cells. They build a large membrane interface with the plant derived peri-arbuscular membrane (PAM) that surrounds them. Most mineral nutrients are delivered to the plant at the arbuscules and taken up via the PAM into plant cells through transporter proteins. In return, the fungi receive up to 20% of the photosynthetically-fixed carbon. The balance in mineral-nutrient-gain-for-carbon-loss influences the effect of the symbiosis on plant growth and yield. However, the full range of transported nutrients, any mechanisms regulating transport and the balance in molecular exchange are unknown. ‘SymbioticExchange’ strategically integrates transcriptomics, phosphoproteomics, metabolite profiling and protein-protein interaction analysis, with reverse genetics, cell biology and transport physiology to identify novel plant and fungal transporters involved in symbiotic nutrient and metabolite exchange, and to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of novel and known transporters.

What we expect:

  • A doctoral degree (or being close to its finalization) in Biology, Biochemistry or a related subject, preferably with a specialization in plant biochemistry or plant molecular biology
  • Experience in:
    • Standard molecular biology techniques
    • Handling of plants and/or fungi
    • Statistical and/or bioinformatics data evaluation methods
    • Transporter/channel biology and/or
    • Proteomics and/or
    • Plant protein biochemistry and/or
    • Advanced confocal microscopy and/or
    • Analysis of complex transcriptome data
  • A minimum of one first author publication in a respected international research journal
  • Very good command of English (oral and written)
  • Curiosity, a strong motivation to excel in science, and a ‘can-do’ attitude
  • A collaborative mind-set and good communication skills
  • Efficiency and good organizational skills
  • A positive attitude towards interacting with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures
The project is NOT suitable for persons with a background in ecology, agronomy or agricultural sciences, except if this background includes a strong training in plant molecular biology, cell biology or biochemistry.

What we offer:

  • Postdoc position for initially two years with possibility for extension, paid according to German public service pay scale (E13 TVöD Bund)
  • Support and mentoring for scientific and career development
  • A stimulating environment in a dynamic, international team of cooperative and motivated scientists
  • Access to the infrastructure of one of the leading plant science institutes
  • Working in the beautiful town of Potsdam and near by the exciting urban area of Berlin

How to apply:

Screening of application will start at the 20st July 2024 and will continue until suitable candidates have been identified.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the publications from the group to ensure probe for their interest in our research. For further information please contact Caroline Gutjahr. If you want to know more about the institute or the group, please have a look on our homepages at:

Interested candidates should submit
  • a Motivation letter explaining why you are interested in the project, in joining the group and why you are the right person to make progress in the field
  • a Publication list
  • a CV including contact information of minimum two scientific referees
through the application system:

For further information about the institute, see: