Meiosis is a specialized two-step cell division that ensures the reduction of the genome prior to the formation of generative cells. Homologous chromosomes are segregated during the first meiotic division and sister chromatids during the second. As there is no intervening DNA replication between the two divisions each of the final division products contains only half of the initial DNA content. For a given diploid organism the developing generative cells are consequently haploid. It is important to note that, during meiosis, genetic information between maternal and paternal chromosomes is mutually exchanged leading to novel combinations of genetic traits in the following generation. We are interested in understanding how genetic information is recombined during meiosis, which proteins mediate DNA double strand break (DSB) formation, DSB processing and DNA repair during meiosis to ensure recombination of genetic traits and, most importantly, what the underlying molecular mechanisms are.
We study meiotic recombination in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We aim to understand the mechanistic details by employing biochemical assays with purified proteins to investigate individual steps of DNA break formation and repair. Recently we have developed single-molecule approaches to study protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions. Furthermore, we are interested in understanding how individual steps of DSB formation and repair are embedded in the overall progress of meiosis. To address this question we generate (hypo- and hyper-morphic) mutants and investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of key meiotic proteins by regular and super-resolution microscopy. Ultimately, we are interested in how the individual meiotic processes contribute to genetic information exchange. We have adapted various approaches, including next-generation sequencing, to determine genetic recombination rates.
Of course we value your work and you will receive a stipend to support you.
If you wish to apply for this position please contact:
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mag. Peter Schlögelhofer
Please include the following in your application:
Short motivation letter
BSc advisor as a contact for a reference letter