Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to study the genetics of plant development

Grasses are one of nature’s most successful experiments, the family displays a stunning amount of diversity. We have identified a previously uncharacterized family of plant genes that has undergone an extensive expansion during the evolution of grasses, and are likely contributing to grass development and physiology. We are looking for a motivated undergraduate to assist with a project studying these genes. To do this, we are using a CRISPR/Cas9 targeted knockout strategy in maize and Brachypodium distachyon.

Vocal communication & song learning in birds

In the Podos Lab, we study a variety of questions related to vocal communication and singing behavior in songbirds. Right now, we're working on a project with swamp sparrows in the lab to explore the process of song learning in males (those who sing to attract mates) and song preference development in females (those who assess songs when choosing a mate). These birds were collected as nestlings during the summer of 2016 from local field sites, and were raised in captivity on campus under controlled conditions.


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