“Progress towards understanding the Interplay between TYLCV resistance and heat tolerance”
With global temperatures rising, it is integral that we are able to continue the production of viable crops. Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) is one of the most proliferate viral pathogens in tomato growing regions. It’s affects are detrimental to plant development increase in severity when in conjunction with heat stress. My research focused on inducible heat tolerance in tomato plants via infection with TYLCV. Fascinatingly, virus resistant tomato lines develop heat tolerance when infected with TYLCV. This investigation utilizes genomic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to locate locus/loci that may be involved in the observed phenotype. To accomplish this, bioinformatics tools were employed to perform whole-genome alignments. It is our hope that understanding this system will aid in the search for plants resistant to the effects of climate change. The next steps in this research focus on expression analysis, gene markers, and gene mapping.
In this program, I learned cutting edge methods in the field of bioinformatics. I gained knowledge and experience into how research is planned, executed, and analyzed in a multitude of biological fields. I had the opportunity to ask questions about graduate work, and careers in academia and industry. In this program, I was surrounded by amazing researchers, mentors, and friends who helped me better understand myself and my career goals. It is okay to be unclear in terms of what we want from our careers, and it is programs and experiences such as the BTI REU that allow us to make informed decisions about who we are, what we want, and how this can fit into a career in STEM.