Student NameAnnelise Vieira
Faculty Mentor NameDave Clark
CollegeCollege of Agricultural and Life Sciences
MajorPlant Science
MinorBioinformatics
Research InterestsGenetic engineering, plant biochemistry, nutrition, environmental issues
Academic AwardsEmerging Scholars Program, Independent Plant Breeders Conference Scholarship, Wentworth Travel Scholarship
OrganizationsFood Science and Human Nutrition Club
Hobbies and InterestsHealth, exercise, nature, music

Research Project

Cloning and Characterization of Polyphenol Oxidase in Basil

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.