“Approaches for the genetic improvement of Physalis”
My name is Kyle Keating and I come from a town called Centereach in the middle of Long Island, New York. Earlier in life I always knew I wanted to work with plants. I started my botanical education with the Master Gardener program through Cornell Cooperative Extension. When I finished the program, I knew I had to take my knowledge and abilities to the next level. That’s when I applied to the plant science program at SUNY Cobleskill. It was there I enhanced my skills and became interested in the field of plant breeding. Now, after almost 4 years at SUNY Cobleskill, I was accepted as an intern at Boyce Thompson Institute where I learned applicable lab and research techniques as part of the Physalis project.
The Physalis research project required several different approaches for acquiring information. Overall, the purpose of this project is to make Physalis a new specialty crop for New York state. To do that, we need to determine the most needed and desirable traits. We are currently in the process of talking with farmers about their experience growing Physalis. We also made a catalog of all existing germplasm to better understand the lines we already had available to us. By applying lab techniques like ovule, ovary-slice, and tissue culture we hope to overcome interspecific barriers and create a plant that is more desirable to the public and farmers for future agriculture production.
My time here at BTI has been a beautiful and rewarding experience. When I began my internship, I didn’t know what to expect but after only a few days I felt right at home. My mentors guided me in new directions, helped me improve my lab techniques, and built my overall confidence in the field. I’m glad I had the opportunity to be exposed to this type of work and look forward to applying my new-found techniques in the near future.