JOB SUMMARY: Provide molecular marker support to Sakata Seed America (SAI) programs by developing new markers and associated technology platforms.  Use bioinformatics tools to manipulate and analyze large DNA sequence data sets.  Program areas include marker-assisted selection (MAS) for breeder support, seed and plant health testing for plant pathogens, hybrid purity, Intellectual Property efforts and variety identification.


  • Work with the Biotechnology Manager to identify new markers with potential for application for MAS and quality assurance (including seed health, variety ID, and hybrid purity).
  • Develop the application of new markers, including primer design and outsourced sequencing as needed, and initial evaluation of SAI germplasm. Involvement in de-novo trait-linked marker discovery projects as resources allow.
  • Apply bioinformatics tools to enable manipulation and analysis of large sets of sequence data for use in marker development.
  • Help to monitor, evaluate, and bring in-house appropriate new technology platforms for molecular marker analysis.
  • Participate in the routine application of molecular markers as needed during particularly busy periods.
  • Provide technical supervision of and/or training for visiting scientists, research assistants, associates, technicians, and trainees, as delegated.
  • Provide technical support and cooperate with Sakata breeders and Technical Service personnel at Salinas and other locations, as requested.
  • Interact and coordinate activities with other Sakata company marker programs and staff.
  • Travel locally, nationally, and internationally as required to further the company’s molecular marker program.


  • Advanced knowledge of crop plant genetics, genomics, and breeding, with an emphasis on applied molecular marker technology and linkage mapping concepts. Strong bioinformatics skills, including utilization of genome browsers, sequence aligners, and other sequence analysis tools; experience with mapping and genetic distance programs desirable.  Ability to manipulate and extract information from large sequence data files in various formats.  Ability to evaluate, develop, adapt, and implement lab protocols for DNA marker assays; familiarity with new/evolving marker analysis systems.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Ability to work independently, yet cooperatively in a team effort.
  • Computer and data management proficiency.
  • Ability to handle stress especially when encountering necessary projects, deadlines and/or high workload.
  • Must be able to work under strict time constraints and requirements.


  • PhD degree in plant genetics, plant breeding, or closely related field, focused on plant genomics or trait-linked mapping. Post-doctoral experience preferred.


  • At least three years’ experience and demonstrated hands-on abilities in applied plant genomics, emphasizing development and application of molecular markers and expertise in utilization of bioinformatics resources.


  • Must be able to work with laboratory chemicals and other possibly irritating substances.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when necessary and/or required.
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to work long and irregular hours when necessary and/or required.

*To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty (as described above) satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

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