Note to undergraduates & others wanting research experience:
  • We welcome undergraduate students who want to do independent research for credit. Check out a few examples of the students who have done research in the lab.
  • We also welcome summer interns and visiting scientists
  • DOE BioEnergy Science Center (BESC)
    As part of the BESC Biomass Formation and Modification group, we are
    • Increasing the efficiency of switchgrass transformation
    • Helping to test genes that affect cell wall composition

    Transposon mutagenesis in soybean
    As part of NSF-funded project, we
    • Are characterizing the usefulness of Ping elements for mutagenesis in soybean
    • Are testing modifications to improve the versatility of the system
    • Will use the system to tag genes
    Soybean insect resistance
    The overall goal is to identify and determine the function of insect-resistance genes in soybean, and to deploy these in breeding programs
    • We have identified 1 gene and 3 QTLs that condition for insect resistance
    • The major QTL has been cloned
    Transgenic soybean
    As part of the United Soybean Board initiative, we
    • Continually work to improve engineering efficiency
    • Engineer with genes that can improve seed quality & crop value
    • Focus on genes for resistance to parasitic nematodes

    • Engineering for resistance to Phytophthora

    Ornamental white clover
    Although white clover is used almost exclusively as a forage, various highly attractive mutants are known. When combined together, white clover also has potential as an ornamental species.
    • The genetic control of many traits is known; for others it is not
    • We are trying to determine the genetic control of those traits for which the genetics are currently unknown
    • See some results

    Production of specialty carotenoids in soybean
    Several animals depend on naturally occuring carotenoids in their diet. These carotenoids can be important to animal health, but also contribute to animal products that are visually applealing to consumers. When raised in captivity, animals do not have access to their normal dietary carotenoids; consequently, these same carotenoids must be supplied in their diets. Yet, dietary supplementation with carotenoids does not come cheap, and can account for 15-25% of total feed costs. The most cost-economical way to incorporate these natural carotenoids back into the animal diets would be by producing them in the soybean used as feed for them.
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