Characterization of CRT1-Interacting Protein 10, a bZIP transcription activator potentially involved in plant immunity
Plant defense mechanisms have evolved to include complex pathways, making plant disease and plague the general exception. This summer, I was concerned with characterizing CIP10, a protein possibly involved in the plant immune pathway. CIP10 had been found to interact with CRT1, a protein essential for Arabidopsis resistance against TCV. My project was to identify a domain(s) in CIP10 essential for potential transcription activation and/or interaction with CRT1 using yeast two-hybrid assays and transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. By the end of the summer, I was well rehearsed in the lab techniques of building constructs, E. coli transformation, Agrobacterium transformation, N. benthamiana infiltration, Western blots, and yeast two-hybrid assays.
As an intern at the Boyce Thompson Institute, I was given the opportunity to learn more about modern plant biology research in a competitive environment and network among students, faculty, and scientists. As interns, we formed a support unit and were able to advance plant biology science a little but more importantly, carve out our own importance as part of the science community. Ithaca is a nice place to be during the summer, especially when surrounded by people with similar goals and interests in a graduate school-type environment.