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Biology
2021 Project Proposal

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of the moss SUMO system.

Project Type - B - Flexible:  It will be in-person if we are allowed to have URSI students on campus, but it will become a remote project if not.

Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO) is a post-translational modification that is rapidly attached to target proteins upon exposure to heat, cold, and drought and mitigates damage inflicted by these stresses.  How and why are still unknown. If 'in-person', the student will generate and screen for SUMO knockouts in moss to enable a deeper understanding of the role of this modification in plants.  Students will learn cloning, PCR, Sanger Sequencing, and plant transformation and selection techniques.  If 'remote', the student will design a SUMO sensor system.  Identifying when SUMO modification is occurring requires the use of immunoblotting, which is time consuming and only captures a snapshot of information from when the tissue was collected.  A SUMO sensor would instead use microscopy-based fluorescence to dynamically track SUMOylation.  Students will mine the literature to help rationally design a SUMO sensor.

Prerequisites: None

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 June 7 – July 31