Noah DeWitt

 
Mentor: Dr. Stuart McDaniel
College of CLAS
 
"Desire to both contribute towards research in my mentor's lab and to learn skills relevant to my research interests."

Major

Plant Science, Plant Genetics

Minor

Bioinformatics

Research Interests

  • Genomics
  • Plant Breeding

Academic Awards

  • N/A

Organizations

  • UF Agronomy-Soils Club

Volunteer

  • N/A

Hobbies and Interests

  • N/A

Research Description

Genetic Transformation of P. Patens to Characterize Maize Endosperm Development
The ease of cultivating and genetically modifying the moss species Physcomitrella patens, and the wealth of homologous genes it shares with angiosperms, makes it an ideal model system for characterizing plant gene functions. A mutation in maize that alters the normal development of endosperm has been discovered by the Settles lab at UF, and the presence of a homologous gene in P. patens presents an opportunity to help characterize the gene’s function through both the disruption of the gene and a targeted replacement of the gene by the mutant maize copy. In maize, the mutation disrupts the correct splicing of certain mRNA sequences, interfering with the development of endosperm and leading to unchecked cellular proliferation. This experiment could help characterize the reasons for the incorrect splicing, and in doing so better understand a mechanism that may be relevant to other groups of Eukaryotes.