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PhD in the molecular and hormonal regulation of leaf epinasty Leuven Belgium,  

KU Leuven (company)

Posted on : 20 April 2017

Project Description

  • Epinasty is the downwards bending of leaves, often as a response towards abiotic stress. For example, leaf epinasty occurs very rapidly after tomato roots are exposed to abiotic stresses such as hypoxia and salinity. 
  • The plant hormones auxin and ethylene play an important role in the root-to-shoot communication during abiotic stress and in the regulation of leaf epinasty. 
  • The exact molecular mechanism how epinasty is regulated and how plant hormones control this peculiar nastic movement remain to be elucidated.
  • Furthermore the exact physiological benefit of epinasty during abiotic stress remains obscure. In this PhD project we will conduct a detailed investigation on the molecular and hormonal regulation of leaf epinasty during root hypoxia in tomato while we will characterize the physiological responses of the entire plant. 
  • e will use a combination of physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic tools to perform our investigation. 
  • This way we aim to get more insight on how epinasty is controlled and reveal the physiological significance of epinasty during plant abiotic stress tolerance.
  • This PhD project will train you to become a scientist who is ready for future challenges. 
  • This means that you will be conducting cutting-edge research, collaborate with your peers (within and outside the lab) and participate in the daily activities of the research lab.
  • You are actively encouraged to guide thesis students, participate at national and international conferences and disseminate your research results in scientific publications. 
  • You are also strongly encouraged to follow extra-curricular courses  in support of your broader (non-) academic training.  

  • Our team is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate, who has a strong interest in plant science, molecular genetics and physiology. 
  • You are a team-player with a critical mind, work accurately and willing to learn new techniques.
  • You are required to have a Master degree (or equivalent) in Bio science Engineering, Biology, Biochemistry or Biotechnology. 
  • You are eligible to apply for a personal PhD grant (e.g. FWO).

  • We offer you a full-time position for 1 year, extendable with another 3 years after a positive evaluation (4 years in total). 
  • Our young and dynamic team will support you in all aspects in order to successfully obtain a PhD degree and a proper scientific training at a top-ranked university. 
  • You will have an advanced training in molecular physiology and hormone biology. 
  • You will have opportunities to participate at national and international meetings, and establish your own network. Y
  • You will have possibilities to gain experience in transferal skills.


3000 Leuven Belgium

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