Bailey-Serres Lab at UC Riverside

Gene regulatory network control of suberin deposition as an abiotic stress resilience mechanism in rice roots

Analyzing data from the Plasticity Project, I am working to understand how suberized barriers form and provide resilience to rice plants in response to multiple stresses.

Gene regulatory networks shape developmental plasticity of root cell types under water extremes in rice

Rokas Lab at Vanderbilt University

Evolution of Asexual Development in Pezizomycotina (Summer 2017 - Summer 2018)

I connected the evolutionary history of developmental regulatory transcription factors to asexual sporulating structure morphology in Pezizomycotina fungi. In collaboration with Anita Sil's Lab at UCSF.

Recurrent loss of abaA, a master regulator of asexual development in filamentous fungi, correlates with changes in genomic and morphological traits

Mentor: Dr. Matt Mead

Horizontal Gene Transfer in Early-Diverging Plant Lineages (Summer - Fall 2016)

I used alien index calculations and phylogenetics to identify candidate horizontal gene transfer events in Selaginella moellendorffii and Physcomitrella patens. I presented this work in a poster at the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Poster Fair.

Mentor: Dr. Jen Wisecaver

Wisecaver et al. 2017 The Plant Cell

Specialized Metabolic Gene Clusters in Plant Genomes (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

I used the bioinformatics program antiSMASH to predict putative specialized biosynthetic gene clusters in a range of plant genomes. Next, I used the co-expression database ATTED-II to assess the co-expression of these putative clusters and the co-expression of known clusters. I found that very few of the predicted clusters showed patterns of co-expression while co-expression validated known clusters. In conclusion, I found that while genomic clustering exists, is not as powerful as co-expression in identifying novel plant metabolic pathways. This work is part of the publication, A Global Coexpression Network Approach for Connecting Genes to Specialized Metabolic Pathways in Plants.

Mentor: Dr. Jen Wisecaver