National Science Foundation grant aids plant gene research


WALLA WALLA -- A pair of Whitman College researchers have received National Science Foundation funding to help continue their investigation of two previously uncharacterized plant genes.

Biology professor Dan Vernon and research specialist Nancy Forsthoefel will also be able to provide research experiences for three biology and biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology majors this summer because of the $40,700 grant, according to a news release.

Vernon reports the genes appear to be involved in plant reproduction, specifically in the development of pollen.

The team will use Whitman's new scanning electron microscope and confocal imaging facilities, both obtained through other NSF grants, to characterize gene "knock-out" mutants in which the genes have been disrupted.


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