Student NameAnnelise Vieira
Faculty Mentor NameDave Clark
CollegeCollege of Agricultural and Life Sciences
MajorPlant Science: Plant Breeding and Genetics
MinorBioinformatics
Research InterestsGenetic engineering, Biochemistry pertaining to plant biology and human nutrition, Biomimicry
Academic AwardsBiology Department Excellence Award - 2017; Wentworth Travel Scholarship - 2018; Independent Plant Breeders Conference Scholarship - 2018; University Scholars Program - 2019
OrganizationsFood Science and Human Nutrition Club; Collegiate Plant Inititative
VolunteeringShands Hospital laboratory volunteer
Hobbies and InterestsTraveling, Spending time outdoors, Exercise, Live music

Why I got involved in research:

I got involved in research due to my lifelong fascination with genetic biology and my pursuit of a career in scientific research.

Research Project

Molecular Cloning and Characterization of the Polyphenol Oxidase Gene in Basil for Crop Modification

Susceptibility of certain crops to enzymatic browning reactions has become a relevant topic in genetic engineering research in recent years due to the degradation in quality, nutritional content, and distribution ability that these reactions incite. In this project, Annelise will be using cloning techniques to identify and characterize the gene that exercises significant control over these reactions in basil, an herb of great prominence and economic significance. Isolation of this gene will allow efforts in reducing its expression and the associated oxidation reactions via genetic engineering techniques such as RNA interference and CRISPR-Cas9 for subsequent regeneration of a browning-resistant basil cultivar. Annelise hopes that this project will contribute to the scientific community’s efforts in developing nutritious and globally-accessible foods through genetic engineering techniques.