Scholar: Samantha Lee
Faculty Mentors: Dr. David Shintani
Research Topic: Overexpression of the inositol hexakisphosphate biosynthetic pathway in duckweeds as a method for aqueous phosphate extraction
Abstract: There has been an increase in the concentration of phosphates in the environment in recent years; much of it has been shown to be anthropogenic. An excessive amount of phosphates in the environment has been shown to have detrimental effects on aquatic life. Because of these harmful effects, there has been a growing need for new, rapid, and cost effective ways to facilitate remediation of these phosphate compounds. The proposed method is to take advantage of the inositol hexakisphosphate biosynthetic pathway in plants. Inositol hexakisphosphate is the primary phosphate energy storage molecule for many plants species. Five Arabidopsis thaliana genes pertaining to inositol hexakisphosphate biosynthesis, transport, and storage were selected to be in cloned into the floating freshwater plants, duckweeds. MultiSite Gateway technology (Invitrogen) was the chosen cloning method because of its ability to transfer up to three genes using a single construct. Successful isolation of four of the five genes has been achieved and they have been inserted into plasmids as entry clones. Creation of expression clones is well under way for their transformation into the duckweeds.
New Scholar: spring 2010
Graduated With Baccalaureate Degree: Received a bachelor's and master's degree in Biotechnology in May 2011.
Masters or Doctoral Program Update: Is completing an internship with Sierra Sciences, LLC as a Research Associate