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Biology
2020 Project Proposal

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of the SUMO system 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.  How and why are still unknown.  This project aims to take a genetics approach to understand the role of the SUMO system in the moss Physcomitrella patens.  The project will involve generating knockout mutants of SUMO genes and machinery involved in its conjugation to target proteins.  The interested student will use molecular biology techniques to generate constructs that enable the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated disruption of SUMO genes, transform them into plant cells, and screen for and characterize the resulting mutants.

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.