Foreign DNA in plant genomes

PhD student
Wide Hybridization Group



The pangenome is a set of all genes present in a given taxon. Besides the core genes, a variable part of the m may be acquired from other taxa via horizontal gene transfer (HGT), potentially providing the recipient with an evolutionary benefit. The extent of acquisitions of foreign DNA, their stability and transmission to future generations, and the evolutionary consequences of HGT are almost unknown in plants. Investigating these processes will be the main aim of the PhD study. A PhD student will use bioinformatic tools to reveal the extent and nature of foreign DNA derived from panicoid grasses in Hordeum sect. Stenostachys. The characterization of panicoid DNA in Hordeum will help to elucidate mechanisms of HGT, the evolution and dynamics of foreign DNA in host genomes, and the role of foreign protein-coding genes in the evolution of sect. Stenostachys.
The work requires at least basic IT skills and an interest to learn new techniques and approaches. MSc. from Biological sciences or Informatics is required.
Offered Conditions

Selected candidates will receive a comprehensive training in bioinformatics including genome assembly and annotations.
In addition to the standard PhD scholarship at Masaryk University (CZK 12 000 per month), additional funds are provided through departmental resources (assignment in research projects, additional scholarships). An overall monthly income is typically around CZK 28 000. Additional support includes performance-based bonuses (scholarships for successfully published papers) as well as support for international mobility or attendance of conferences etc.
Required Skills and Qualifications

Master degree in Biological Sciences or Informatics (Bioinformatics preferred) required at the time of enrolment to the PhD study program

Basic IT skills
  • Prior training/experience in sequence data handling (positively evaluated during the interview and selection process)
  • An interest to learn new techniques and approaches
  • Good communication skills (oral and written) in English
  • High level of commitment to complete the PhD studies

Benefits to work with us
  • Our group is internationally recognized and collaborate with many labs across the world
  • We publish in prestigious journals
  • Our students are not delayed in finishing their PhD 
  • The project is supported by the project of GACR
  • Perfect equipment and friendly environment

How to Apply
Please send your curriculum vitae, cover letter with a concise summary of your previous research activities to:

Start of the appointment (PhD study):  any time from May 1, 2022


Assoc. prof. David Kopeck√Ĺ


Student will be supported from project of Czech Science Foundation GACR 22-02469S