Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 8, 2006
Publication Date: September 7, 2006
Citation: Lawrence, C.J., Gardner, C.A., Widrlechner, M.P., Brendel, V. 2006. The NSF Plant Genome Research Outreach Program for American Indians at Iowa State University [abstract]. Book of Abstracts - Plant Genome Research Program 9th Annual Awardee Meeting. p. 3. Technical Abstract: The involvement of Native American students and researchers in plant genome research is minimal. In an effort to increase their representation in the research community, a summer program to mentor Native American/American Indian undergraduates in plant genomics research has begun on the Iowa State University campus. The first session took place in 2006, and the program will continue through 2010. Participating students study Zea mays, Echinacea species, and other plants of importance to many Native Tribes. Students work with USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction scientists to carry out field-work (to grow and propagate the plants) and to collect and preserve plant material. They also use SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeat) and/or other suitable molecular markers in the lab to characterize the Southwest maize accessions. Data generated, as well as information describing cultural practices involving those plants, are stored and made accessible at http://www.lawrencelab.org/Outreach/2006/home.html. The online interface was created by two students who worked with members of the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database (MaizeGDB) team. The work is funded by the National Science Foundation, and all participating students' travel, health care, room and board, as well as a stipend were arranged by the Iowa State University George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship program. An advisory council made up of Tribal Elders was involved in the first year of the program, and each elder traveled to Ames to work with the students. In this manner, the Elders' hopes for the students were conveyed alongside the outcomes anticipated by the researcher mentors.