2007 Summer Internship Program
Intern: Angel Batista
School: Frederick Douglas Academy
Grade Level: entering 10th
Hobbies: Computer games, hydroponic vegetable gardening
Internship Mentor: Sandy Harrington (lab manager)
Angel is from Frederick Douglas Academy, one of our partnering schools in the curriculum development project (5.1). He worked with Sandy Harrington and Diane Ran Wang, and worked on DNA extractions, running PCR and agarose gels and helping with seed organization.
Intern: Christa Hardy
Year: Entering Senior
Major: Genetic Biology
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Quilting
Internship Mentor: Sandy Harrington, Lab manager
Christa helped develop and characterize a set of near isogenic lines (NILs) in the IR64 background that contained a series of well-defined introgressions from O. rufipogon for the semidwarf1 gene (sd1). A series of intragenic recombination events meant that some of the introgressions made the IR64 plants very tall, while others had no effect on plant height. These NILs are being developed as a teaching tool to explain how discrete polymorphisms affect the function of the sd1 gene. Christa's activities involved harvesting plant tissue from the greenhouse, DNA extraction, designing primers for DNA amplification, performing the polymerace chain reaction (PCR), doing agarose gel electrophoresis, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and silver staining, and analyzing and interpreting the results.
Intern: Diane Wang
School: Cornell University
Year: Entering Sophomore
Major: Animal Science
Hobbies: Ultimate Frisbee, hiking
Internship Mentors: Wricha Tyagi and Lingxia Huang
Diane joined the lab to learn more about genetics and to get a feeling for the culture of a research laboratory. She joined the genotyping team that was investigating population structure in O. rufipogon using a series of molecular markers. While others were evaluating SSRs, she chose to focus on the insertion /deletion polymorphisms generated by MITES (miniature inverted repeat transposable elements). Her research activities involved harvesting of plant tissue from the greenhouse, DNA extraction, primer design, PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis, as well as data analysis and interpretation of results. Using this approach, she has been able to identify regions of the rice genome that distinguish indica-like and japonica-like ancestry in O. rufipogon. During fall 2007, she wrote a research proposal based on her summer work and was awarded research funding to continue her research during both fall and spring semesters, and she will return to the lab as a summer intern during 2008. As a result of her internship, she changed her major from Animal Science to Biochemistry.
Intern: Jason London
School: Henderson State University
Mentor: Georgia Eizenga, Rice Breeder
Jason assisted with most aspects of the phenotyping project including sowing seed and growing seed in the field. He also collected data on panicle, seed and plant phenotypes.