Amy Sainski, Univ. of Wisconsin

(Raikhel Lab) This summer I am privileged to be working in Dr. Raikhel's lab using chemical genomics to study vacuolar biogenesis of Arabidopsis cells. There are three main experiments I will be contributing to this summer, all involving chemicals previously screened and found to have varying effects on the Arabidopsis [...]


Isha Wallace

(Natasha Raikhel Lab) I've been researching genes involved in the biosynthesis of plant cell walls. I use molecular techniques to study the expression of two genes that seem to be related. I also use computer analysis programs to compare homologues of the two genes in other organisms. Working in a [...]


Janet Lee, UCLA

(Jin Lab) Dr. Jin's lab is interested in the mechanisms of plant pathogen resistance. Plant diseases cause significant crop losses each year. The pathogen P. infestanscauses late blight, a disease affecting potato and other Solanaceous plants. The RB gene provides a broad-spectrum resistance to late blight and has recently been isolated. EDS1, NDR1, SIPK, [...]


Thomas Bekman, New College of Florida

(Borkovich Lab) Neurospora crassa is an ideal model organism for studying eukaryotic cellular processes: it is non-pathogenic, multinucleate and easily cultured. It shares many homologous genes with yeast, plants, and humans. Previously, more than 200 knockout mutants for transcription factor genes were created in a high throughput project. Our goal is [...]


Lizz Esfeld, Truman State University

(Chen Lab) MicroRNA is a category of small non-protein coding RNA molecules with lengths between 21-24 nucleotides. They regulate a wide range of important gene functions either by mRNA cleavage or by translational repression. In plants, microRNAs participate in a variety processes including plant development, metabolism and stress responses. Therefore, [...]


Robert Dick, Iowa State University

(Zhu Lab) I'm working in Jian-Kang Zhu's lab to understand how plants respond to environmental stress. By identifying mutant phenotypes in Arabidopsis and what genes are responsible for the observed mutant phenotypes we can generate hypotheses about what roles these genes play in the plant stress response. The Zhu lab [...]


James Johnson

(Borkovich Lab) Defining metabolic pathways regulated by G protein signaling through integration of transcriptomic and metabolomics data The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa is a model organism for the study of eukaryotic biochemistry and cell biology due to its ease of growth, haploid life cycle, and more recently its fully sequenced [...]


Ali Zanial, CSU Bakersfield

(Bailey-Serres Lab) The Bailey-Serres’ lab is mainly concerned with the regulation of gene expression of an mRNA encoding a specific protein. These mRNAs are undergoing translation, but those who are not involved in translation, are sequestered into distinct mRNA/protein complexes that either preserve or destroy the transcripts. The lab’s long-term [...]


Marjannie Eloi

(Elizabeth Bray Lab) I am currently working in Dr. Elizabeth Bray's laboratory at UC Riverside. The focus of study in this laboratory is on the effects of plants under water-deficit stress. An important response of plants to this stress is the accumulation of the plant hormone, abscisic acid (ABA). The [...]


Larry Page, Univ. of Missouri

(Ozkan (M) Lab) Atomic Force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful technique for visualization of biological systems up to a resolution of 10 nanometers. Some of the advantages of this microscope are that the sample does not have to be fixed in order to view it, it can accurately view soft [...]


Michael O’Leary, UC Riverside

(Chen Lab) Gene expression can be, but is not necessarily, regulated at two levels – the transcriptional level by siRNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing (referred to as TGS), and at the post-transcriptional level by microRNA-mediated post-transcriptional gene silencing (referred to as PTGS).  My two research projects this summer are to 1) [...]


Katherine Guthrie, Northwest Missouri State University

(Walling Lab) After wounding of tomato leaves, Leucine aminopeptidase A (Lap A) accumulates in the chloroplast stroma. It creates a signal that moves to the nucleus to up-regulate the production of proteinase inhibitors and polyphenol oxidases and down-regulate another set of genes. This mode of regulation (chloroplast to nucleus) is called retrograde [...]


Karen Ayetiwa, UC Riverside

Characterization and Localization of PAP1 (Meng Chen lab) Anthocyanin is a pigment that protects plants by absorbing high-energy UV light, in response to environmental stress, improving the survival of plants. Production of Anthocyanin Pigment-1 (PAP1) is a transcription factor that regulates the production of the pigment anthocyanin. PAP1 has both [...]


Robert Washington, Cal Poly Pomona

(Raikhel Lab) Plant endocytic pathways have only recently been under investigation. Up until the last decade, the scientific community believed that the cell wall and the plant cell’s turgor pressure prevented endocytosis from occurring.  The use of dyes, labeled sterols, and reporter-fusion markers revealed that plants do undergo endocytosis. To understand [...]


Jennifer Jones

(Julia Bailey-Serres Lab) The objective of my project in the Bailey-Serres lab is to determine whether Arabidopsis thaliana RopGAP genes (encoding Rho like protein of plants, GTPase Activating Proteins) are differentially expressed in response to stress induced by hypoxia, cold and DCMU (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea, an inhibitor of photosynthetic electron transport). Airica [...]


Zhen Qin, UC Berkeley

(Borkovich Lab) My project in Dr. Borkovich's lab this summer revolves around the G-protein alpha subunit 3 (GNA-3), which is found in the fungus Neurospora crassa.  G-proteins are a family of proteins that act to regulate cell processes.  Using a previously constructed mutant strain of N. crassa that had its copy of the gna-3 gene [...]


Erin Sternburg, CSU Long Beach

(Chen Lab) Micro-RNAs (miRNA) are RNA strands approximately 20-24 nucleotides in length that act as regulators in many eukaryotic processes. miRNAs exhibit complementary base pairing to mRNAs, allowing them to bind and repress translation. This repression has been identified to work via mRNA degradation or inhibition of transcription. The mechanism [...]


Justin Durancik, Northern Illinois University

(Borkovich Lab) Aspergillus nidulans is a filamentous fungus and model organism for other Aspergillus species, such as A. flavus, a common pathogen of corn, peanuts, and various other crops. A. flavus and some other Aspergillusspecies produce a toxin known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a carcinogenic secondary metabolite produced by the fungi. A. nidulans is often used to study this [...]


John Hartzheim, St. Olaf College

(A.L.N. Rao Lab) Positive-strand RNA viruses are pathogenic to many organisms, including plants, insects, and humans. These viruses reproduce via the injection of the viral genome, in the form of positive sense RNA, into a host cell. Flock house virus (FHV) is an important model for the study of positive-strand [...]


McKell Dilg, Brigham Young University

(Zhu Lab) My project involves the characterization of ABA-binding proteins. ABA is a plant hormone that affects many processes in plants. These affects are mainly related to plant stresses caused by reduced water availability. Some of the processes affected are, seed drought tolerance, dormancy and protein synthesis. (Razem, et. al., [...]


Mikayla Kravetz, Wells College

(Ma Lab) A bacterial effector is a protein that a pathogenic bacterium injects into a host cell in order to cause disease. The HopZ1 effectors are important virulence factors for the plant pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae, which has a variety of plant hosts. HopZ1 effectors are hypothesized to be acetyl-transferases, disrupting the [...]


Janel Case, Alan Hancock College

(Walling Lab) Plants have many plant defense hormones and one of which is salicylic acid (SA). Upon attack by pathogen or insects, plants respond with an increase in salicylic acid. An increase in SA response may lead to the triggering systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in the plant immune response. SAR is [...]


Veronica Batallones, CSU Fullerton

In Vivo Fluorescent Tagging to Determine Co-localization and Protein-Protein Interactions Between HeterotrimericGαSubunits and other Proteins in Neurospora crassa (Borkovich lab) Neurospora crassa is a filamentous, multicellular fungus with low nutrient requirements, a short-haploid life cycle, a sequenced genome and easy, tractable genetics, making it an ideal organism to study cell [...]


Ivann Martinez, CSU Long Beach

(Bailey-Serres Lab) This summer I will participate in a project to determine the roles of four genes that each encode a protein of no known function that is highly up-regulated in response to low oxygen stress (hypoxia) in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. I will be learn how to grow Arabidopsis, perform stress treatments, extract [...]


Susan Garity

(Linda Walling Lab) The project that I am working on is to identify genes regulated by a phloem-feeding insect, the silverleaf whitefly (Bernisia argentifolii) using gene trap/enhancer trap technology. The project is two-fold. Objective 1 required us to grow wild-type Arabidopsis plants in insecticide-free soil and infest them with silverleaf [...]


Justin D. Wood, San Bernardino Valley College

(Springer Lab) The LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES (LOB) gene is expressed in the boundary found between lateral organs and shoot apical meristems of plants. LOB is a member of a large gene family called the LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN (LBD), which consists of forty-three similar genes that are found only in plant species. My research will focus on the functional [...]


Shahid Jaffer, St. Olaf College

(Springer Lab) The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is a group of undifferentiated cells at the growing plant tip that controls the formation of leaves and other lateral organs. It is essential for the regulation of all aspects of shoot architecture, including leaf initiation, morphogenesis and patterning, flower production, and axillary [...]


Maritza Duarte, Seattle University

(Reddy Lab) The shoot apical meristem (SAM) of plants harbors a set of stem cells in the tip of the shoot apex. The above ground organs in plants are derived from these stem cells via differentiation. Genetic studies using the model plant Arabidopsis thalianarevealed the role of the homeodomain transcription factor [...]


Tom Hirschauer, Univ. of Dayton

(Judelson Lab) Phytophthora infestans is a fungus-like microbial eukaryote that causes late blight in potato.  In addition to causing the "Irish Potato Famine" in the mid-1800's, the disease is also a major problem that currently limits the production of potato crops worldwide.  Since asexual spores are actively involved in the dispersal [...]


Matthew Holmes, Haverford College

(Reddy Lab) The stability of cell identity within the plant stem cell niche is a result of hormone and protein interactions within the shoot apical meristem. WUSCHEL, a symplastic transcription factor protein, forms a gradient within this region that may play a significant role in establishing cell identities. WUSCHEL is [...]


Jenniffer Flores, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio

(Bailey-Serres Lab) To regulate growth and development, in addition to biotic and abiotic stress, plants monitor and integrate environmental signals to regulate metabolism and energy homeostasis. Flooding and complete submergence of plants is an environmental stress that contributes to large agricultural losses. During flooding events, decrease in cellular oxygen (hypoxia) [...]


Derrick Sergeant

(Eugene Nothnagel Lab) My ultimate goal is to become a college or university science professor. I already knew that I enjoyed teaching, having had a lot of experience in that area. But a science professor must also do research. I had very little experience doing full-time work in research before [...]


Christopher Hoyt, Harvey Mudd College

Division Plane Modeling in Maize Cells (Carolyn Rasmussen lab) TANGLED is a microtubule binding protein that is required for proper division plane orientation. Before cellular division, plants assemble a ring around the cell known as the preprophase band. In properly functioning cells, TANGLED guides the developing cell plate during cytokinesis [...]


Alejandro Garcia

(Ian Wheeldon Lab) The nonconventional yeast, Yarrowia Lipolytica has garnered much interest in the field of biotechnology primarily for its ability to synthesize, modify, and store intracellular lipids at a high capacity. A number of established gene-editing tools such as Cre/loxP system, the I-SceI endonuclease-mediated system, and a variety of [...]


Elliott Beltran, Chaffey College

(Raikhel Lab) Protein trafficking within a cell is a highly dynamic process. Many of the genes involved in vesicular trafficking are essential. Given the large functional gene redundancy found in plants, discovery of new phenotypes are often too difficult for classical genetics to accomplish. The study of chemical genomics offers [...]


Shannon Ferry, Univ. of Rochester

Interaction Studies of GNA-1 with the Arp2/3 Complex Using a Novel Microscopic Method (Katherine Borkovich lab) Neurospora crassa is a non-pathogenic filamentous fungus, used as a model organism in genetic research. N.crassa is an ideal organism for genetic research because of its simple haploid life cycle. These features allows scientists to manipulate and [...]


Luis Jaimes Santiago, CSU Northridge

Enzymatic Activity of a Possible Cowpea Aphid Effector (Kaloshian lab) The cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora, is an insect pest that is found worldwide and is responsible for significant yield loss of legume plants, primarily the cowpea, Vigna unguiculata. Cowpea is an important crop that is cultivated in several developing countries due to its short [...]


Hanah Chaudhry, New College of Florida

Using Arabidopsis to determine defense devices against the deadly and devastating fungal pathogen Macrophomina phaseolina (Eulgem lab) Plants have evolved sophisticated immune systems that allow them to recognize and respond to pathogens. A particularly devastating pathogen, Macrophomina phaseolina, is a necrotrophic fungus causing diseases like charcoal rot and stem blight on its broad range of [...]


Benjamin Fulton, Skidmore College

(Jin Lab) Small RNAs are important regulators of gene expression, including development, genome maintenance, and response to abiotic and biotic stress.  Small RNA’s are generally 20-25 nucleotides long and can be divided into two categories based on their biogenesis: small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs).  Small interfering RNAs are [...]


Kaitlyn Coburn

(Linda Walling Lab) Identification of whitefly defense genes in Arabidopsis. Decreasing crop yields worldwide, whiteflies are notable herbivorous pests and vectors of viruses. These depleted crops include cassava, an important subsistence crop and source of nutrients for small-scale African farmers and citizens. Developing resistance to pesticides quickly, there are few [...]


Daniel Lin, UC Berkeley

(Reddy Lab) The shoot tip of a plant is the location of the shoot apical meristem (SAM), part of which is a stem cell reservoir. The tip of the SAM is known as the central zone (CZ), and is where stem cells are located. Outside the CZ is the peripheral [...]


Maxine Nanthavong, Riverside Community College

(Roper Lab) Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is a gram-negative bacterium responsible for Stewart’s wilt of sweet corn. The bacteria preferentially colonizes the xylem and causes severe wilting in young seedlings. Biofilm formation plays a critical role in the onset of Stewart’s wilt because it blocks water flow in the xylem, ultimately leading to plant wilting [...]


James Jen Yen, UC Riverside

Solubilization and renaturation of plant cell wall methyltransferases expressed in E. coli (Nothnagel lab) Research on plant cell walls has value towards increasing knowledge about plant structure and function and towards providing environmentally friendly energy for society. While combustion of petroleum deposits directly releases climate-changing carbon dioxide into the environment, production [...]


Luis Torner, UC Riverside

(Walling Lab) I am working in Dr. Linda Walling's Lab under the guidance of Virginia Alonzo. We are currently studying the role of proteins that stimulate prenylation reactions in Arabidopsis thaliana. These prenylation reactions lead to the biosyntheis of isoprenoids. Isoprenoids are compounds involved in plant growth and development. My project [...]


Matthew Lefebvre, St. Olafs College

(Chen Lab) Micro-RNAs (miRNA) play a pivotal role in regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. The best characterized miRNA mediated expression pathway involves post-transcriptional degradation of mRNAs based on sequence homology with 21-24 nucleotide miRNAs. However, miRNAs can also regulate gene expression by other means, potentially including post-translational mechanisms involving [...]


Apolonio I. Huerta, UC Riverside

(Judelson Lab) Phytophthora infestans is a plant pathogen responsible for the devastating late blight disease of potatoes and tomatoes worldwide. Despite being often referred to as a fungus, P. infestans is actually a member of the Oomycete class of eukaryotes. P. infestans uses both sexual and asexual reproduction as a means by which to proliferate. [...]


Michael Cantrell, Univ. of Idaho

(Ding Lab) Viral Immunity can be established through either the innate or adaptive immune response. Shou-Wei Ding’s lab has proven that RNA silencing serves as an innate immunity against RNA viruses. His colleagues are currently studying the innate immune response to viruses through forward and reverse genetic screens. To better [...]


John Tracey, St. Norbert College

(Eulgem Lab) Throughout the summer, I will be working in Dr. Thomas Eulgem’s lab under the supervision of graduate student Mercedes Schroeder. Dr. Eulgem’s lab focuses mainly on genetic regulation of the plant defense response. Plants are sessile and therefore have evolved complex immune systems and strategies of dealing with [...]


Eduardo Cen

(Zhenbiao Yang Lab) I have been working with pollen tubes from transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants as a model to study a G protein-mediated signaling pathway that acts as a switch for an array of physiological effects in the cell. The genetic transformation technology and molecular techniques I have been learning are valuable [...]


Johnathon Blahut, UC Riverside

(Judelson Lab) Phytophthora infestans is an oomycete pathogen responsible for the tomato and potato late blight disease. Its economic significance has prompted research on its genetics and Dr. Judelson’s lab at UC Riverside is at the forefront of this research. The lab studies transcription factors expressed during the organism’s asexual reproductive [...]


Esperanza Garcia

(Bailey-Serres Lab) Mysteries of messages: discovery of mechanisms beyond synthesis and translation Esperanza Garcia, Maureen Hummel and Julia Bailey-Serres Gene regulation in eukaryotes occurs at multiple steps, from the initiation of gene transcription to the production of a functional protein. Once transcription begins, the nascent transcript undergoes co-transcriptional addition of [...]


Nicholas Curtis, Univ. of Texas at Austin

Engineering gene expression in Yarrowia lipolytica using synthetic activators (Wheeldon lab) Yarrowia lipolytica is an industrially relevant oleaginous yeast known for its ability to produce and accumulate large quantities of lipids. Understanding mechanisms of gene activation allows a greater utilization of Y. lipolytica as a host for production of diverse oleochemicals. To engineer and tightly control [...]


Riyan Bittar, UC Riverside

Development of efficient disease management of citrus HLB disease with Small RNAs regulation (Hailing Jin lab) Huanglongbing (HLB) is a bacterial pathogen that lives in the phloem of citrus trees and is spread with the assistance of the Asian citrus psyllid. HLB destroys the economic value of citrus trees by [...]


Samantha Velasco

(Li Lab) Investigating Abscisic Acid Catabolism through Yeast Two-Hybrid Screening of Plant cDNA Libraries Abscisic acid (ABA) is a plant hormone involved in abiotic stress signaling, and initiates responses related to seed dormancy, germination, root architecture, leaf senescence, and stomatal closure. The rise of global temperatures due to climate change [...]


Timothy Jang, Univ. of Illinois

Exploring Unique Cellular Features of the Middle Cortex Using Fluorescent Reporters and Confocal Microscopy (Van Norman lab) In the root of Arabidopsis thaliana, the outer cell layers are concentric around the central vasculature. From the outermost layer toward the vascular there are: epidermis, cortex, endodermis, and pericycle layers. The endodermis and the [...]


Zachariah Jaramillo, Brigham Young University

From Error to Advantage – How Arabidopsis thaliana has harnessed transposon insertions in order to regulate localized cell death during immune responses (Eulgem lab) Plants, like all living organisms, are constantly exposed to disease-causing pathogenic microbes. In response to this selective pressure, plants have developed an intricate immune system that allows them [...]


Lauren Kivlen, Riverside Community College

(Nothnagel Lab) Arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) are a class of heavily glycosylated macromolecules found within the plant cell wall and plasma membrane. These proteins function in several aspects of plant growth and development such as the control of cell proliferation, expansion and programmed cell death. AGPs produced by the moss Physcomitrella patens structurally resemble [...]


Aubrie De La Cruz, Cal Poly Pomona

(Bailey-Serres Lab) RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are of extreme significance in all organisms as they play large roles in post-transcriptional regulation mechanisms, thereby controlling gene expression. RBP functions can be very diverse. They can, for example, determine whether a mature mRNA transcript will proceed through translation, or be arrested at [...]


Josiah Garza

The University of Texas, Austin (UCR Lab/PI: Thomas Girke) Novel Applications of Plant Derived Small Molecules Detailed information about plant bioactive small molecules (PBSMs) has become available in public small molecule databases in recent years. This includes molecular structure and target protein information of PBSMs in CMAUP (Zeng et al., 2019), [...]


Ashley Brickl

Carthage College (UCR Lab/PI: Arthur Jia) IIIandMe: A High Efficient Algorithm for Haplotype Determination Using Genomic Data of Three Haploid Reproductive Cells Chromosome-length haplotypes, which represent the entire set of chromosomal genetic variants inherited from parents, provide higher resolution of DNA for the discovery of disease-causing genes and loci when [...]


Andrea Wheat, Univ. of North Texas

(Borkovich Lab) The Borkovich lab is currently working with Neurospora crassa, a filamentous fungus and model organism. The genome for N. crassa has previously been sequenced and I will be working with 16 phosphatase mutants previously made in the lab by the throughput knockout procedure. Phosphatases aid in the regulation of dephosphorylation within [...]


Michelle Brown, Mt. San Jacinto Community College

(Borkovich Lab) My project in Dr. Borkovich's laboratory involves the mutational analysis of two of the eleven putative hybrid histidine kinase genes of the ascomycete fungus, Neurospora crassa. Dr. Borkovich is conducting an on-going project to study the role of two-component regulatory systems in this multicellular fungus. These cascades regulate a [...]


Daniel McNelis, New York University

(Smith Lab) In plants, aboveground organs and shoots derive from the shoot apical meristem (SAM), a site of continuous growth and development. This requires a balance of stem cell perpetuation and organogenesis, called meristem maintenance. Additionally, the plant hormones auxin and cytokinin play crucial roles in regulating meristem homeostasis. Research [...]


Christopher Galley, Chaffey College

(Springer Lab) Leaves are essential plant organs because plants use their leaves for a variety of purposes including photosynthesis, defense, or water conservation. Leaves exhibit many different shapes and sizes to accommodate their intended functions. Despite the variance in leaf structure and function, all leaves develop from the shoot apical [...]


Michelle Hoo

San Diego State University (UCR Lab/PI: Dr. Daniel Koenig) Genetic Associations with Climatic Variables in Barley Global climate change poses one of the greatest threats to agricultural and environmental sustainability. Understanding how plants adapt at the genetic level in response to environmental variation or change is essential in preserving our [...]


Henry Richmond-Boudewyns, Rochester Institute of Technology

Characterizing the Localization and Function of PLK4 in Root Development (Van Norman lab) Transmembrane receptor-like kinases (RLKs) are a large family of transmembrane receptor kinases that are important for cell-to-cell signalling in plants. Due to the fact that plant cells are surrounded by rigid cell walls, signaling at the plasma [...]


Guillermo David-Valero, Univ. of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez

A “super synthetic elicitor” and a better understanding of the plant immune system   (Eulgem lab) Plants are exposed to different environmental factors that they must cope with to be able to survive in their respective agro/ecosystems. To be able to defend themselves from one of the major threats, phytopathogens, plants have evolved [...]


Robert Jimenez, Berkeley City College

Transporter Localization in Phytophthora infestans  (Howard Judelson Lab) Phytophthora infestans is the pathogen responsible for the Irish potato famine in 1845 (late blight disease). The pathogen has been around since the 1800's and is still poorly understood. P. infestans affects potato and tomato foliage, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of crop loss per [...]


Spencer Swansen, Seattle Pacific University

(Stajich Lab) A common method of competing for resources involves inhibiting the growth of closely located competitors. This study is a continued exploration of inhibitory growth interactions between fungi. The chytrid fungus Homolaphlyctis polyrhiza has been shown to inhibit growth in the filamentous fungi and model organism Neurospora crassa. This interaction has not [...]


Thomas Sokolich, Cal Poly Pomona

Physical interaction between MORC1 proteins and putative targets of MORC1-regulated miRNA  (Manosalva lab) Robust immune systems protect plants from various pathogens, but immune activity also competes for finite resources required for growth and development. Thus, immune responses are often highly controlled to balance defense with other physiological needs. Microchidia (MORC) [...]


Dima Younes

(Dehesh Lab) Unravelling Ca2+-dependent transcriptional machinery for induction of general stress responses in plants Dima Younes, Jin-Zheng Wang, and Katayoon Dehesh Plants have developed a myriad of sophisticated general adaptive/tolerance mechanisms in response to continuous biotic and abiotic stresses. To gain insight into the transcriptional regulation of general stress responses, [...]


Roxanne Sebeny, UC Berkeley

(Borkovich Lab) Neurospora crassa, commonly known as orange bread mold, is a model eukaryotic organism in the filamentous fungi group that is studied in Professor Borkovich’s lab.  One of the main projects in this lab is to study the heterotrimeric G-proteins (1).  Previous work in the lab has shown that [...]


Jenny Kafas

The College of New Jersey (UCR Lab/PI: Ian Wheeldon) Sequence, structural and evolutionary analysis of polyendogalacturonase (PG) in Kluyveromyces. marxianus More than 45 million tons of citrus waste is discarded annually by juicing operations. Pectin, which accounts for approximately 15-25% of the dry weight of citrus waste, is a potential [...]


Patrick Gallagher, The College of New Jersey

(Nothnagel Lab) Plant cell walls and plasma membranes contain arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs), a class of glycoproteins which are thought to function in cell division, growth, and other aspects of plant development. The AGPs of the moss Physcomitrella patens contain the unusual 3-O-methyl-L-rhamnosyl (3-O-Me-Rha) residue, which occurs in cell walls of relictual plants up [...]


Lauren Quezada, Loyola Marymount

(Ding Lab) In the Ding lab, we are currently studying the interaction between RNA silencing and viral infection. RNAi is known as the viral innate immune pathway in insects that uses siRNAs to target viral RNAs for silencing.  This in turn inhibits viral replication and transcription, rendering the virus harmless.  [...]


Saisuki Putumbaka

(Stajich Lab) Bacteria inside fungi! Microbiome analyses to study bacteria associated with fruit rotting fungi Symbiotic interactions between fungi and bacteria are evolutionarily and ecologically important. The mutualistic relationship between the fungus Rhizopus microsporus and bacterium Burkholderia is integral to the reproduction and proliferation of the fungal host. However, little [...]


Sonia So, Univ. of Arizona

(Cutler Lab) The field of chemical genetics has rapidly grown in recent years due to the ability to discover drug-like molecules with high-throughput screening (Kolb et al, 2004).  The Cutler lab is focused on studying plant cell development and the pathways that control growth.  In using the principle of chemical [...]


Marakee Teshome Tilahun, San Francisco State University

Comparative phenomics at the plant-insect interface (Nabity lab) Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (grape phylloxera) is a global pest of grapes, the world’s most culturally and economically significant fruit. When D. vitifoliae feeds on Vitis (species), proteins called effectors are released into the plant to manipulate the host plant systems. There are over two thousand predicted effectors [...]


Emily Bossard, Western Washington University

The phenotypic effect of RIC8 point-mutations in Neurospora crassa  (Borkovich lab) G-protein signaling is essential to normal growth, sensing, and development in eukaryotes. G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) are Guanine-Nucleotide Exchange Factors (GEFs) for Ga subunits that interact with Ga, Gb, and Gg proteins. Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors (GEFS) activate the signaling [...]


Tykera Moore

Home institution: Fort Valley State University (UCR Lab/PI: Jason Stajich) Viral Genomics and Discovery from Metagenomics Viruses are likely the most abundant organisms on the planet, however limited work has studied viruses from environmental sampling, and they represent a largely unexplored genetic diversity, despite likely having an important role in [...]


William Sauers, Univ. of Scranton

Delineating plastidial metabolite MEcPP regulated interorganellar signaling cascade (Dehesh lab) Plants have evolved elaborate endogenous signaling pathways which allow them to respond to environmental stresses. Plastids play a key role in sensing and responding to stress partially through altering nuclear gene expression. However, the underlying mechanisms of this communication are [...]


Michelle Brown, Mt. San Jacinto Community College

(Springer Lab) The summer project in the Springer lab is to investigate whether there is a connection between the LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES (LOB) gene and brassinosteroid signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. The LOB gene is expressed in the boundary between the meristem and the lateral organs. While the exact function of the LOB gene is unknown, LOB is [...]


Kyle DeHart, University of Pittsburgh

(Roper Lab) The Gram-negative bacterium Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is an important pathogen, which infects sweet corn and maize resulting in the disease, Stewart's wilt. It induces disease by colonizing the xylem vessels of seedlings where it aggregates into biofilms. The formation of these biofilms, a crucial component of virulence, obstruct water flow leading [...]


Liberty Onia, UC Berkeley

Characterizing the Role of ERF72 in the Response of Arabidopsis to Whiteflies (Walling lab) Manihot esculenta, also known as cassava, is a tropical root crop that is the fourth highest source of calories in the world. In the past few decades, high densities of whiteflies have devastated cassava crops in Eastern and Central Africa. At high [...]


Gilbert Uribe, CSU Bakersfield

(Douhan Lab) Parasitism is a ubiquitous life history strategy where organisms obtain resources from their hosts. Parasites can be categorized into those that are considered generalists or specialists, and it is thought that parasites that are highly host specific have had a long history of coevolutionary interaction with their hosts. [...]


Alex Paya, Ohio Wesleyan

(Yang Lab) Our summer research project, a part of the IGERT graduate study program, is focused mainly on re-examining chemicals that were screened from the UCR chemical Database and shown to inhibit a protein-protein interaction in Arabidopsis. The protein of interest, ROP2, is part of a large family of ROPs [...]


Faustino De La Cruz Jr.

(Jaimie Van Norman Lab) Understanding Mechanisms of PLK1 and PLK4 Polarization In plants transmembrane receptor kinases (RKs) have extracellular leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and an intracellular kinase domains.  LRR domains interaction with small molecules and peptides leads to the activation of signaling cascades that are important for plant growth, development, and [...]


Jessica Ball, Clemson University

(Larson Lab) In Arabidopsis thaliana, EER6 is involved in cell wall degradation, where loss-of-function mutations cause an enhanced ethylene response in the presence of ethylene, resulting in an exaggerated triple response (apical hook, short roots, and severely short hypocotyls). Currently in the Larsen lab, we are trying to understand the role [...]


Shonnette Grant, Claflin University

(Jin Lab) Small RNAs (smRNAs) are major players in regulating gene expression both in plants and animals [Baulcombe, 2004].  Deep sequencing of smRNAs revealed diverse species of endogenous small RNAs from Arabidopsis[Reinhart et. al., 2002].  One of the miRNAs was shown to be involved in basal defense against Bacteria by regulating [...]


Catrina Romero, CSU San Bernardino

(Borkovich Lab) While in Dr. Borkovich's lab this summer I will be studying heterotrimeric G-proteins in Neurospora crassa. G-proteins are components of the signal transduction pathways for most developmental processes in this filamentous fungus. Our main interest in N. crassaheterotrimeric G-proteins is to study the Gβ subunit and Gγ subunit and to [...]


Linda Morales, UC Riverside

(Bailey-Serres Lab) My research in the Bailey-Serres laboratory focuses on the development of new techniques for the analysis of gene expression. Gene regulation in plant cells occurs at the transcriptional level, as well as post-transcriptional levels, in individual cells and tissues. Most cells are interconnected by plasmodesmata that permit intracellular [...]


Marissa Faeidan, UC Riverside

(Ding Lab) I am working for Shou-Wei Ding's lab on a project about programmed cell death and viral suppression of RNA silencing on the experimental plant organism, N. benthamiana. RNA silencing is an extraordinary phenomenon that has rather recently become a resource for studying a vast array of viral diseases in [...]


Joseph Manson, Riverside Community College

(Judelson Lab) The Judelson lab is primarily focused on the oomycete Phytophthora infestans, specifically the structure, expression, and evolution of spore genes. Using various bioinformatic programs, gene database resources, and DNA cloning techniques paired with gene sequencing, I will be researching how P. infestans spores develop, germinate, and the evolutionary relationship to the [...]


Kebba Mbye, Univ. of North Carolina

(Girke Lab) Next-generation sequencing technologies allow present high-throughput genome profiling approaches to generate massive amounts of data that are frequently difficult and time-consuming to decode. Gene sets are groups of genes that share common chromosomal location, biological function(s), or regulation processes. Gene set enrichment tests are used to determine over- [...]


Joel A. Velasco, Boise State University

Profiling the nuclear transcriptome and translatome of discrete cell populations in Oryza sativa exposed to waterlogging and water deficit conditions (Bailey-Serres lab) Plants are multicellular organisms composed of distinct cell types, each cell with a unique composition of RNA populations. Technologies such as INTACT (Isolation of Nuclei TAgged in specific Cell Types) [...]


Kirsten Trimble

(Koenig Lab) The Evolution of Plant Genome Content Kirsten Trimble, Christopher Fiscus and Daniel Koenig The information required for the development and function of an organism is encoded in its genome. Whole genome duplications, bursts of transposon activity, or rearrangements between chromosomes frequently drive substantial changes in genome content between [...]


Kevin Tran

(Springer Lab) Functional Characterization of Arabidopsis LOB-DOMAIN 42 In many plants, leaves are divided into two distinct regions. The adaxial side faces the meristem and becomes the “upper” side of the leaf; whereas the abaxial side faces away from the meristem and becomes the “lower” side of the leaf. In [...]


Hannah Hall, Middle Tennessee State University

Identification of PLK1 protein domains important for polar localization (Van Norman lab) Polarly Localized Kinase 1 (PLK1) is a transmembrane receptor-like kinase (RLK) with a known developmental tissue patterning in roots, unlike other RLKs that play roles in developmental patterning that remain uncharacterized. PLK1 fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP) [...]


Ugoeze Nwokedi, El Camino College

(Girke Lab) Bioinformatics is a developing field of science that draws from the different disciplines of biology, computer science, and information technology to create databases to store and analyze biological information. The information could be specific sequences of regulatory DNA elements or amino acid sequences of proteins. The database also [...]


Julie Stutzbach, Beloit College

(Eulgem Lab) Plants have developed a complex immune system used to recognize and fight pathogenic organisms.  However, at times plants fail to recognize these pathogens, which can make them susceptible to disease.  Dr. Euglem’s lab examines the interaction of the pathogenic oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.  The goal of my [...]


Galen Rask, Swarthmore College

(Springer Lab) The human population is expected to reach 9 billion individuals by the year 2050. In order to feed the increasing population, the amount of food produced by crops such as rice (Oryza sativa) must increase. In rice, the plant hormone brassinosteroid (BR), controls plant height and leaf angle. [...]


Christina Meyer

(Jia Lab) Heat stress effects on the metabolome of California-grown ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate juice Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is an ancient fruit tree crop that has cultural significance throughout much of Eurasia. Pomegranates have also been historically believed to have putative medicinal and pharmacological properties; in modern times, there has been [...]


Mattie Irion

(Shou-Wei Ding Lab) In the seven weeks doing research in the Ding lab, I have had the opportunity to participate in extensive laboratory procedures directly correlated with the cutting-edge research presently being studied involving RNA silencing and the involvement of miRNAs in gene regulation. It was a privilege to be [...]


Benjamin Schlau, Portland State University

(Eulgem Lab) During research in Dr. Eulgem’s lab on the RPP7-mediated plant immune response to an isolate of the oomycete Hyaloperonospora parasitica, post-doc Tokuji Tsuchiya accidently discovered that Arabidopsis thaliana with rpp7 knockout mutations exhibited inhibited root morphology compared to wildtype when grown on NaCl-treated growth media. Further testing confirmed his original observations. The data may [...]


Marie Schmidt, Vassar College

The Role of Tomato WHIRLY Proteins in Retrograde Signaling and Plant Defense (Linda Walling lab) Leucyl aminopeptidase-A (LAP-A) is a stress-induced protein found in the Solanaceae, and is involved in late-wound response signaling. It is located in the plastid, however is able to regulate nuclear gene expression through an unknown mechanism. [...]


Cassandra Carrivales, Texas A&M University

(Judelson Lab) The current research performed in the Judelson lab focuses primarily on the fungus-like eukaryotic pathogen Phytophthora infestans, the casual agent of potato and tomato late blight. Through investigation of specific molecules in this pathogen, specifically those controlling asexual development, we aim at understanding this pathogen’s molecular mechanisms and [...]


Abby Nitschke, Loyola University

(Yang Lab) Plant cell shape is directly related to cell function. In Arabidopsis, the leaf epidermal cells (pavement cells) take on a jigsaw puzzle like appearance, which requires coordination between neighboring cells to form lobes and neck regions. In Dr. Yang’s lab, we study the mechanisms governing cell shape formation, using Arabidopsis pavement cells [...]


Carrie Wang, Univ. of Colorado

(Smith Lab) In flowering plants, the transition from the vegetative to reproductive stage constitutes a major developmental phase change. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms for floral specification are poorly understood. Our laboratory focuses on the mechanisms in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) that initiate flowers in response to floral [...]


Angela Rowe, Ohio State University

(Jin Lab) Pseudomonas syringae is a gram negative bacterial pathogen which attacks a wide range of commercial crops. The purpose of my research this summer will be to characterize the function of several candidate signaling genes in plant disease resistance and defense responses. We will use both loss-of-function and gain-of-function for [...]


Alicia Vazquez, CSU Channel Islands

(Larsen Lab) The overall purpose of this research project is to establish a strong foundation from the data collected to aid in a better understanding of the biochemical Auxin biosynthesis pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. Arabidopsis Col-0 wild type will be exposed to our chemical in different amounts, the model concentration and [...]


Sarah Wilson

(Litt Lab) Arctostaphylos glauca genome assembly and annotation The genus Arctostaphylos (Ericaceae), commonly referred to as Manzanita are shrubs and small trees, with a high endemic diversity in California. Though they are ecologically significant and have received much attention from California botanists, the boundaries among Manzanita species and subspecies remain unclear. [...]


Raffee Wright

(Gonehal Lab) Analysis of Downstream Targets and Effects of WUSCHEL Homeodomain transcription factors responsible for maintaining and regulating stem cells within the shoot apical meristem (SAM) of Arabidopsis thaliana. One example, Wuschel (WUS), is primarily synthesized within the rib meristem and migrates into layer L3 of the SAM. From there [...]


Benjamin Becerra, Cal Poly Pomona

(Smith Lab) Dr. Smith's laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the specification of flowers during inflorescence development in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) of Arabidopsis plants. As simple as it may sound, flowering is actually one of the most dramatic and important developmental events that occurs [...]


Hilary Christensen, Carleton College

(Pirrung Lab) Small RNAs in Arabidopsis play important roles in gene expression regulation. They consist of two main classification groups: Micro RNAs, which originate from RNA hairpins, and Short Interfering RNAs, which are cut from longer sections of double-stranded RNA. Current methods for detecting these small RNAs are not very effective, so [...]


Blair Clark, Chaffey College

(Jin Lab) Katiyar-Agarwal, et al. (2006), found an endogenous natural antisense small interfering RNA (nat-siRNA) that is induced by a Pseudomonas synringae strain which has a certain effector gene called avrRpt2. The nat-siRNA is created from the overlap of two genes: a Rab2-like small GTP-bind protein gene and a pentatricopeptide [...]


Joshua Johnson, Central College

Fluorescent Tagging of a Family of G-Protein Coupled Receptors Involved in Plant Cell Wall Degradation (Borkovich lab) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane associated proteins that are important for regulating growth and sensing environmental stimuli in many organisms, including, fungi, plants, and humans.  The PTH11-like GPCRs are of interest because [...]


Sarah Gayer

(Rasmussen Lab) Division plane orientation in plant cellsCell division is crucial to proper development, and plants have mitotic structures delineating the division site to ensure this process is completed correctly. The preprophase band (PPB) is a microtubule and actin structure that forms during G2 and marks the future division site. [...]


Audrey Habron, Rockhurst University

A Mutagenesis Approach to Identifying Division Plane Orientation Genes in Zea mays (Rasmussen lab) Division plane orientation is an essential process in plant development and for relative cell alignment within the tissue. Symmetrical cell division is important for growth, while asymmetrical cell division allows for new cell type differentiation. Knowledge about [...]


Kim Carpenter, Western Washington University

(Bailey-Serres Lab) This summer in Dr. Bailey-Serres' Lab I will be utilizing four genetic stocks of Arabidopsis thaliana in order to better understand the second messengers that may be involved in the induction of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene expression. I will be working with wild-type Columbia, and the transgenic lines, ADH:GUS, ROPGAP4::DsGUS, DR5:GUS, DR5:GUS: 35S:CA-rop2. [...]


Zoe Yeoh, Gettysburg College

LOF1 and Interacting Transcription Factors in Plant Development (Springer lab) Transcription factors (TFs) help ensure proper gene expression in developing tissues, and thus play a role in plant development and plant architecture.  LATERAL ORGAN FUSION1, or LOF1, is a TF expressed in the organ boundaries of Arabidopsis thaliana. lof1 mutants have fused axillary branches and cauline [...]


Jessica Adams, Univ. of Connecticut

Increasing the Versatility of Genome Editing in Yarrowia lipolytica through the Application of Type 5, Class 2 Nucleases in CRISPR-mediated Systems (Wheeldon lab) The costly and detrimental nature of modern fuel sources necessitates the study of alternative methods to produce oil. Oleaginous microorganisms capable of accumulating a large amount of [...]


Maressa Bell-Deane, Mt. Holyoke

(Raikhel Lab) While working in the Raikhel lab this summer, I will be researching the trafficking of proteins to the storage vacuole in Arabidopsis thaliana using the Landsberg ecotype. For that purpose we will perform screenings on a T-DNA mutagenized VAC2 population. Wild type Landsberg plants have a small meristem and smooth looking siliques [...]


Jason Schoneman, Cal Poly Pomona

(Judelson Lab) Phytophthora infestans is a highly destructive plant pathogen on potato. The resulting destruction creates an annual total of billions of dollars in damage to the crop worldwide. Around the mid-nineteenth century, a pandemic of this late blight disease on potatoes resulted in the death and displacement of the population [...]


Carrie Thurber, Framingham State College

(Judelson Lab) Dr. Judelson's lab studies the genetics of the spore-producing oomycete Phytophthora infestans. P. infestans is a fungus-like organism that produces spores (sporangia) that are uncharacteristic of most true fungi. For example, the Phytophthora sporangia are undesiccated and release zoospores. These zoospores are the main mechanism by which P. infestans spreads disease among plants. Potatoes infected [...]


Megan Riley, Moorpark College

(Nothnagel Lab) The Nothnagel lab is researching arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) in Physcomitrella patens with a specific focus on methylated sugar components, which are not present in angiosperm AGPs. Previous experiments in the Nothnagel lab have provided statistically significant evidence that the knock out of a P. patens protein (K01) results in a reduced 3-O-methyl-rhamnose [...]


Courtney Hamada

(Elizabeth Lord Lab) This summer I have been working on determining which chemicals disrupt pollen tube adhesion. The chemical genetics experiment consists of creating an artifical matrix of pectin and SCA and adding to it chemicals as well as pre-germinated pollen tubes, and seeing the effect it has on the [...]


Sabrina Bimson, Ursinus College

Translatome Analysis of the Phosphate Starvation Response of Oryza sativa (Bailey-Serres lab) The human population is predicted to reach ten billion over the next three decades. This estimate coupled with climate change will demand greater and more effective agricultural output as changes in arable land occur. In order to sustain [...]


Ilse Argueta, Chaffey College

(Springer Lab) The research in the Springer Lab focuses on understanding the function of Lateral Organ Boundaries (LOB), an organ boundary gene, by two methods: Chemical Genetics and a Yeast-2-Hybrid screen. First a chemical screen will be conducted using the Lifechem chemical library, which consist of approximately 12, 000 chemicals, [...]


Quynh Vu, Univ. of Houston

(Borkovich Lab) Dr. Borkovich's lab is part of an NIH-funded project along with labs from UCLA and Dartmouth to understand more about functional genomics in Neurospora crassa. Approximately 10,600 N. crassa genes are present in the genome, but their functions have yet been studied. My objective for this summer project is to find [...]


Olenka Graham, Chaffey College

Immunity against root-knot nematodes in Arabidopsis thliana and tomato  (Kaloshian lab) Plant parasitic nematodes are responsible for $US157 billion in crop losses annually. The Kaloshian lab studies immunity to the root-knot nematodes (RKN, Meloidogyne spp.) which infect a vast number of plant species. Plant immunity to pathogens relies on a two-tiered process: pattern-triggered [...]


Matt Kennedy, Tufts University

(Reddy Lab) The shoot apical meristem is responsible for all above ground plant structures which originate from an undifferentiated pool of cells known as stem cells. The Reddy laboratory is currently researching the gene networks regulating this critical group of plant cells. The protein WUSCHEL(WUS) is a mobile transcription factor that regulates [...]


Harry Wedel, Vassar College

Hormetic effects triggered by synthetic elicitor BHTC in Arabidopsis thaliana (Thomas Eulgem lab) In a hormetic response, a physical or chemical stimulus that is usually harmful to an organism at high doses produces positive effects at low doses. Through a high-throughput screening, our lab previously identified 114 drug-like compounds that activate [...]


Jesus Banderas, Cuyamaca College

(Eulgem Lab) Sixty thousand different molecules were screened using a high throughput screening system designed to find molecules that induce CaBP22-333promoter-mediated reporter gene expression in transgenic Arabidopsisseedlings. 114 chemicals were identified from this process. Thirty of these chemicals have been grouped together, based on their molecular structure, and labeled as Phenylimino [...]


Seth Flanders, Whitworth University

(Roper Lab) Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii. P.stewartii causes wilting and death of its corn host by primarily colonizing and obstructing the xylem tissue. As the bacteria become established in the plant they produce large amounts of an exopolysaccharide matrix called stewartan. The bacteria form biofilms and it is these matrix-encased biofilms that allow successful [...]


McKenzie Pickle, UC Riverside

Role of Microtubule Dynamics in Cell Division using Maize tangled-1 Mutant (Rasmussen lab) In maize, tangled1 (tan1) mutants exhibit shorter stature compared to wild-type, rougher leaves, and misplaced cell walls. Timelapse analysis shows that the tan1 mutant has slower division times in metaphase and telophase compared to wild-type. There is no correlation between longer metaphase division [...]


Cody Jacobs, Bennington College

Enhancing ER membrane production in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to increase P450 function and expression for use in biocatalysis  (Wheeldon lab) Y. lipolytica is an oleaginous yeast capable of producing vast amounts of intracellular lipids, which is useful as lipids serve as precursors to a number of valuable molecules, such as biofuels, steroids, [...]


Alexandra Swidergal, Cornell University

(Raikhel Lab) A crucial component in normal cellular function is the highly regulated and conserved protein trafficking system that transports essential proteins throughout the cell. The Raikhel Lab has identified a mutation in the Arabidopsis ribosomal complex structure that causes errors in translational control and protein sorting regulation. The mutations [...]


Max Baymiller, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology

(Judelson Lab) The oomycetes are an evolutionarily distinct group of organisms often confused with fungi because of their filamentous growth habits and frequent saprophytic tendencies. The most well-studied oomycete is the potato and tomato pathogen Phytophthora infestans, which is more commonly known as late blight. A prolific and highly destructive pathogen, P. [...]


Wayne Robinson

Home institution: Florida Atlantic University (UCR Lab/PI: Danelle Seymour) Genome-wide association mapping of field performance traits in a diverse collection of citrus germplasm The citrus industry in California is valued at more than $1 billion annually and has potential to grow its percentage of the US market share. The growth [...]


Andy Chen, Hamilton College

(Gonehal Lab) The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana expresses transcription factor (TF)-WUSCHEL (WUS) differentially throughout its shoot apical meristem (SAM), where the transcription factor migrates through multiple cell layers and regulates the expression of other stem-cell differentiation promoting transcription factors.  Furthermore, WUS regulates the expression of the Clavata3 (CLV3) gene, its own negative [...]