Variation in the FLS3 gene
Plants can detect foreign organisms by using pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) like Flagellin-Sensing 2 (FLS2). Located outside the plant cell, FLS2 is able to detect the microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) flg22 which is present in the flagellin proteins of some microbes. Recently, it was found that tomato and other closely related plants are able to detect the MAMP flgII-28, a 28 amino acid peptide present in another region of flagellin. The gene encoding the PRR that can detect flgII-28 has been designated Fls3. Since the gene was only recently discovered, various characteristics of Fls3 are still under investigation. Through analysis of next-generation sequence data and sequencing of Fls3 from plants with impaired Fls3/flgII-28 responses, my research uncovered novel variants of the Fls3 gene. Specifically, I have identified some interesting alleles that may prove significant to further our understanding of the function of Fls3.
I have enjoyed my interning at the Boyce Thompson Institute. I have been able to gain insight into bioinformatics, a field that I knew little about before this internship. My experience at BTI has helped further my interest in bioinformatics and has helped me gain experience in both computer science and in biology lab work.