Ph.D. position available at Université Laval

Project title: Study of the mechanisms conferring common waterhemp resistance to group 5, 14 and 27 herbicides3.
Project description: Common waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J.D. Sauer, EPPO4 code AMATU) is considered one of the most problematic and difficult weeds to control. Its biology renders it highly competitive, especially against crops such as corn and soybean. The development of resistance to different herbicide groups (2, 4, 5, 9, 14, 15 and 27) makes chemical control almost impossible. In Quebec, AMATU was found for the first time in 2017, in the West Monteregie region. This population was confirmed to be resistant to herbicides from the groups: 2 (Inhibitors of ALS), 5 (atrazine) and 9 (glyphosate).


Currently, molecular methods to detect resistance to groups 2 and 9 are available for AMATU. The mutation conferring resistance to herbicides of the group 14 is known, but genetic tests have not been developed. For now, the detection of resistance to the groups 5, 14 and 27 for AMATU can only be done via the “classic method” (growing plants from seeds collected from suspected resistant plants and spraying herbicides to determine % of survival). The objective of this project is thus to develop molecular tests to detect resistance in AMATU plants to herbicides of the groups 5, 14 and 27. The technology developed could be adopted by the « Service de détection de la résistance aux herbicides » (SDD) of CÉROM, as well as the « Laboratoire de diagnostic et d’expertise en phytoprotection » (LEDP-MAPAQ). Quebec growers will benefit by having a rapid and efficient way to detect resistance that will allow them to adapt their strategies for the control of this species.
Information about the project:
Research directors: Dominique Michaud (Université Laval) and Martin Laforest (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Associated researcher : Sandra Flores-Mejia (CÉROM)
Working place: The research will be done mainly at Laval University and CÉROM (Centre de recherche sur les grains at Saint-Mathieu de Beloeil). Note: the project will require manipulation of plants in the greenhouse as well as the use of herbicides.
Stipend: 24 000 $/year for 3 years. The student will be encouraged to apply for other scholarships (FRQNT, CRSNG, etc.).
Student profile and requirements:
● Undergraduate diploma in: agronomy, biology, molecular biology, genetics, genomics or other similar fields.
● Master’s degree in molecular biology, genetics, genomics or similar field
● Bilingual (English and French)
● The student will be responsible for its own travel between Université Laval, CÉROM et AAC (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu)


To apply :
Send your CV, motivation letter, 2 letters of recommendation and transcripts to dominique.michaud@fsaa.ulaval.ca and/or sandra.flores-mejia@cerom.qc.ca. The deadline is January 20th 2020 or until the position is filled. There is a possibility to be hired as a summer student before admission to the doctoral program.