Summary: My lab studies plant molecular genetics in basic and applied systems, with particular focus on plant host resistance pathways. This work includes genetic characterization of host resistance, gene identification, elucidation of molecular mechanisms, biochemical function and genomic evaluation, directed at traits of importance to Idaho crops.  Research includes elucidation of the role of vacuolar acid invertase in cold-induced sweetening of potato tubers, gene identification of potato resistance to potato leaf roll virus (PLRV), and biochemical characterization of NAC1 transcription factor in potato stress (salt, drought and pathogen).  Applied research is targeted at developing molecular diagnostic tests for plant pathogens and valuable plant genes in wheat and potato.

Minimum Classes: Basic biology class

Projects: Project title: Characterization of Potato Leafroll Virus Resistance Derived from Solanum etuberosum Host resistance in potato to Potato Leafroll Virus (PLRV) has been identified in the wild Solanumspecies S. etuberosum.  Resistance has been genetically characterized to a single gene, Rlr-etb, on the long arm of potato chromosome 4.  A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and DNA pools have been generated from a resistant S. etuberosum line.  The aim of this project is to identify the gene responsible for resistance and characterize the resistance mechanism in potato. Molecular techniques may involve PCR, molecular cloning, sequencing, molecular marker assays, DNA electrophoresis, DNA isolation, and agrobacterium-mediated transient assays.

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