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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Research Project #436430

Research Project: Training 1890 Faculty in CRISPR Technology

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Project Number: 8062-21000-047-22-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

Objective:
1). The Fellow will be trained in the CRISPR technology including preparation of constructs and validation of the gene edited plants. At the conclusion of the project, the Fellow will be able to conduct tomato CRISPR project independently with minimal advisements from the mentor; 2). The Fellow and Mentor will prepare a list of tomato CRISPR vectors targeting on genes for abiotic stress (from the Fellow’s project) and a few ripening related genes (from the Mentor’s project). Having these constructs, the Fellow will be able to continue working on both sets of traits to expand the scope of the tomato project at TSU. This will provide the foundation for long-term collaboration between ARS and TSU. 3). The Fellow and the Mentor will incorporate training students into the Fellowship project. The Fellow will recruit graduate and undergraduate students to work on the project concurrently at TSU, and a selected few will come to ARS host lab to receive direct mentorship from Dr. Giovannoni and his lab members These actions will ensure the success of transferring the technology to 1890 teaching system. 4). To ARS mentor and the 1890 Fellow will co-organize a CRISPR workshop on TSU campus, to train faculty and students from a diverse field of research and learning. By broadening the community of audience, it will ensure the sustainability of the capacity to be built through this fellowship project on 1890 campus. 5) The ARS lab is located on the Cornell University campus and is an active participant in a NSF and USDA-NIFA funded undergraduate research training program for summer interns. We will actively recruit undergraduates from the Fellow's institution to gain experience through summer internships that will provide exposure to a high level research institution without disrupting the normal academic calendar of the students. We note that students participating in this program are often recruited to top plant science graduate programs across the country as a result of their ability to state they participated in this training experience. The Fellow will identify and encourage application of undergraduate students to this program with successful applicants joining the Mentor's lab or other lab's on campus they may identify as optimal to their interests and career objectives.

Approach:
1). A set of CRISPR-constructs to produce trait-improved tomato plants; and two publications on development of abiotic stress related gene edited lines and their phenotypic outcomes, respectively. 2). The foundation for the 1890 LGU (TSU) to develop a CRISPR research/teaching platform with trained/educated faculty and students; 3).The ARS host scientist will develop and enhance a mentor-mentee relationship with the 1890 LGU Fellow,her students fostering collaborations between these institutions for example, through opening a pipeline for undergradaute TSU students to experience a summer of laboratory research at an ARS lab and/or Cornell University. (4).The ARS host laboratory will gain access to students at a 1890 LGU and will assist in enabling the expansion of the Mentor's research scope to new crop species through the resources at TSU. Direct impacts: The 1890 LGU Fellow and her students will be trained in developing CRISPR-edited tomato plants. Acquiring such cutting-edge technologies will better prepare the Fellow and her students to develop more competitive research and teaching programs at their home institution. Broader impacts: Both the ARS scientist and the 1890 LGU Fellow will serve as bridges to translate this technology to a broader audience and introduce this cutting-edge technology into agriculture studies at minority serving institutions during the project period and beyond.