Project Description :
Protein coding gene sequences differ very little between closely related species. Despite nearly identical proteins, the spatio-temporal use of protein-encoding genes, also called gene expression, is much more divergent, and likely explains differences between different species. We are seeking a motivated undergraduate to assist with a project studying gene expression in plants, and how evolution can conserve or innovate on expression patterns to explain the diversity we see in the plant kingdom. To do this we will be using gene fragments from various species of plants to drive fluorescent reporters in Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon, two model plants. Undergraduates will receive training in genomic analysis, molecular biology techniques including gene cloning, plant stem cell and tissue culture work, transgenic plant production, molecular screening, and gene expression measurement. Students should have taken at least one molecular biology class, and should have an interest in plant biology, genetics, evolution, or development.