Q: What plant is Rachel Flynn, graduate student in Botany and Plant Pathology, working with — and why?
A: Flynn is performing manual cross-pollinations on Arabidopsis thaliana pistils. Arabidopsis thaliana is a popular model organism for research — the “fruit fly of the plant world.” Its research advantages include a short life cycle, high seed production, easy cultivation indoors, a fully sequenced genome, a large collection of mutants and genome resources, and plenty of colleagues working on the same plant. It can also be transformed using a modified bacterial plant pathogen that can transfer DNA into the genome of another plant. Flynn, who works with Sharon Kessler, associate professor of botany and plant pathology, uses the manual cross-pollination technique to study the female-derived molecular components of plant sexual reproduction.
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