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Biology
2020 Project Proposal

Identifying the mechanisms of SUMO homeostasis in the moss Physcomitrella patens

Robert  Augustine (Biology)

Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO) is a post-translational modification that is rapidly attached to target proteins within minutes of exposure to heat, cold, and drought and acts to mitigates the damage inflicted by these stresses.  SUMO appears to be under tight transcriptional control that prevents its hyper-accumulation, however the mechanism that regulates this homeostasis is unknown.  This project aims to characterize this phenomenon in the moss Physcomitrella patens, and develop strategies to ascertain the factors(s) that mediate this response.  This project will utilize molecular biology techniques, and there will be considerable latitude in developing strategies to identify the regulatory mechanism.

Prerequisites:
Preference will be given to students with lab experience, and who have taken courses with emphasis on Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, and/or Plant Physiology.

How should students express interest in this project?
Interested students should briefly explain why they are interested in this research topic, and how it fits into their future goals. After reviewing applications, I will set up an interview with a short-list of compatible candidates, and then select from that group.  Students should not contact me directly.

This is an 8 week project running from May 27-July 17.