Educational Programs
Gain Research Experience in Plant Biology


  • JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) Videos

    • High-throughput CRISPR Vector Construction and Characterization of DNA Modifications by Generation of Tomato Hairy Roots

      Postdoctoral researcher Thomas Jacobs from Greg Martin’s lab, uses tomato hairy roots to demonstrate how multiple CRISPR vectors can be constructed in parallel in a single cloning reaction.

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    • Virus-induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) in Nicotiana benthamiana and Tomato

      Graduate student André Velásquez from Greg Martin’s lab shows how to do Virus-induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) in Nicotiana benthamiana and Tomato.

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    • Assay for Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern (PAMP)-Triggered Immunity (PTI) in Plants

      Research associate Suma Chakravarthy from Greg Martin’s lab, shows the procedure Assay for Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern (PAMP)-Triggered Immunity (PTI) in Plants.

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    • Mating and Tetrad Separation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for Genetic Analysis

      BTI scientists recently exhibited their acting skills for the Journal of Visualized Experiments ( This video demonstrate how to mate and separate Chlamydomonas reinhardtii tetrads for genetic analysis and also how bugs interact with host plants.

      The video by Xingshan Jiang explains the protocol for mating and tetrad separation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for genetic analysis.

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    • The White Cabbage Butterfly

      The video by Martin de Vos explains how you can identify which plants are more resistant to tissue chewing caterpillars. He uses a no-choice set-up where caterpillars are forced to feed from a plant. After 7 days Martin compares the weight of the caterpillars. Some caterpillars will be full-grown, while others are still small. Small caterpillars mean that a plant is well defended against these attackers. The second experiment is a no choice experiment with white cabbage butterflies that are given a choice on which plant material to lay their eggs. The results show that these butterflies are attracted to plants with specific chemicals in the leaves.

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    • How To Set Up Aphid Artificial Diet Experiments

      The video made by John Ramsey shows how some specialized green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) are able to feed from tobacco, whereas others cannot. This is likely because of the presence of nicotine. Nicotine is a toxic chemical that is not only present in cigarettes, but also in tobacco plants. John uses an artificial diet experiment to show that nicotine does not affect red aphids, but kills green aphids that belong to the same species. John is now trying to identify why these red aphids are able to withstand higher concentrations of nicotine in their food.

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    • Aphids That Transmit Plant Viruses

      Cecilia also got her chance to shine in the spotlight of JoVE’s cameras. She studies aphids that transmit plant viruses and shows her viewers how to study virus transmission between infected plants, aphids, and non-infected plants. She uses a technique whereby aphids are injected with virus particles to determine their ability to transmit this virus.

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  • Interactives

    • DNA Sequencing Puzzle

      The activity includes background information on tomatoes, DNA, and various molecular biology terms and techniques.

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  • Podcasts

    • BrachyBio! A Groundbreaking New Project Getting Kids Excited About Plant Science!

      Some of the most challenging societal problems on the planet will require plants to solve them: major shifts in agricultural land use due to global warming, pressures on food supplies due to growing populations, and meeting energy demands with biofuels, to name a few. Dr. Tom Brutnell describes how BrachyBio! a groundbreaking new project is getting kids excited about plant science and the process of discovery while allowing them to contribute to scientific discovery in a meaningful way.

      BrachyBio! Interview (air date: November 23, 2010)
  • Interviews from the Nationally Syndicated Series Sign of Science

    • Klaus Apel NPR Interview


    • Lukas Mueller NPR Interview

    • Tom Brutnell Interviewed by NPR

      A study co-authored by Tom Brutnell, former BTI faculty member, has identified a gene in the carotenoid pathway that helps determine the levels of provitamin A in corn seeds.

    • Tracy Rosebrock Interviewed by Nature Magazine

      Tracy Rosebrock, a former BTI graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Greg Martin, discusses a bacteria that can suppress plant immunity.

  • Videos

    • Tomato: Decoded—Science of Genome Sequencing

      Teachers and students can benefit from watching this eleven-minute video. BTI’s Dr. Jim Giovannoni speaks for a fourteen-nation consortium of geneticists and bioinformatics specialists who deciphered the sequence and location of the 35,000 genes of the tomato, an international food crop. This video focuses on the work done by American researchers, who explain the process of genome sequencing, and how a sequenced genome aids plant breeders in selecting precisely for desirable traits, including yield, shape, natural resistance to disease, and flavor. Credit: NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation.

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    • Welcome to BrachyBio! Linking Teachers, Students, and Scientists in Plant Research

      Introduction video to the way in which BrachyBio! networks educators, scientists, and students engaged in plant research.

    • 22 Hours of Light: Conditions for Optimal Growth

      You will be given a light rack system developed here at BTI to use in the experiment. For the most part it simply bolts together and plugs in. Bulbs are NOT supplied in the kit and must be purchased by you. Bulbs are 48″ standard two-pin 34–40W Cool White fluorescent bulbs. You will need six of these bulbs. They can be purchased at any home center or hardware store and most discount stores such as WalMart. Cost should be ~ $2 per bulb. The light rack should be lowered using the supplied chain to a height of 35 cm from the lab table. This will generate a light intensity of ~ 6,300 lux or 80 umol/m2/sec.

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    • Seven-Day Cold Treatment: Preparing Brachypodium Seeds for Quick Growth in your Classroom

    • Twelve Seeds per Family: Planting Brachypodium Seeds

      You will receive from BTI several packets of seeds with each packet containing twelve seeds. This represents one family. The soil (Miracle Grow Potting Mix) you will be using must be purchased from a local home or garden center. A sixteen-quart bag should be enough to plant three full trays. Note how the far-right three-tray liner is removed to facilitate watering. Soil should be moist prior to planting. Each tray liner has three soil-filled containers. The twelve seeds you receive in each packet will be planted in these three areas with four seeds per container. Be sure to place the correct tag with the family number/date and teacher written on it into the soil liner as shown. The integrity of this experiment depends on getting the correct family number associated with the correct seeds. Seeds are pushed using a forceps gently just below the surface. Leaving a little of the awn (the long thread like stalk on top of the seed) exposed helps you see where you have planted them. Water the seeds thoroughly by adding water to the open area in the tray. Add water to just cover the BOTTOM of the tray (~ 200-300 ml of water). Keep adding water as needed to keep the soil moist. DO NOT OVERWATER! Make sure you account for weekends and holidays when you are develop your watering schedule. Brachypodium plants are tough and like most weeds require very little except sufficient water to grow.

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    • Looking for Mutant Brachypodium Plants

      Use the online mutant photo library to compare your plants with the mutants that we have identified. Visit When you find something interesting, share your data and images with us on the BrachyBio!website:

      Special Thanks to the Video Crew:
      Tom Brutnell (
      Tiffany Fleming (
      Amber Hotto
      Amanda Romag
      The National Science Foundation

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