Being engaged and intrigued by new information, the love for my coursework has grown every year; however, the opportunity to discover novel information through my research is one of my most intellectually stimulating experiences. Under the guidance of Dr. Nolan Kane, the Professional Investigator of the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative (CGRI), I have expanded my traditional wet lab work to bioinformatics, hemp breeding, and leading a project I designed to analyze differential RNA expression in Cannabis. Through my work and fascination with this four nucleotide code, I create freedom in my research to learn about any other organism or genetic disease that I hope to treat within my career.
My longest ongoing project began in October…show more content… As new data became available, we observed numerous copies of the THC Synthase Gene, which provided our research with a new goal to develop novel primer sets for each unique copy. My colleague and I each developed a novel set of primers and protocols associated with those primers, which has allowed us to determine the phylogeny and variation of these genes. Continuing to develop this research, we are analyzing possible correlations between the variations of a certain paralogs in relation to the phenotype or physical traits of the plant. We plan to publish the phylogenetic relationships we discovered, as well as any possible correlation between genotype and phenotype in October 2016. If a correlation can be concluded, these results and developed primers would be the first marker-assisted breeding available to successfully determine the drug content of Cannabis before flowering.
During testing our developed primers in August 2015, I began work on my Honor’s Thesis to understand mRNA expression changes during a common chemical treatment used by many growers to change the sex of the plant for seed production. Through growing female plants and treating some branches with silver thiosulfate, these plants will produce both male and female flowers, which can be harvested throughout the growing process. These flowers will have RNA extracted at three time points, which will then be processed, sequenced and