Jennifer Blake-Mahmud, Assistant Professor of Biology, recently received a National Science Foundation award for $501,356. The project is titled BRC-BIO: The transcriptomics of environmentally-controlled differentiation into male or female in plants.
This project will research a special group of plants that exhibit separate males and females – those for which the environment controls the expression of male or female function. Chromosomes that determine male or female flower types are rare in plants and species where the environment plays a strong role have the ability to express either male or female flowers, and change from one to the other, during their lives. Changes in gene expression is the most likely mechanism controlling this phenotype in these species; thus, this study examines the relationship between gene expression and floral development in maples and makes comparisons to other plant species with different plant mating systems.
Congratulations on your award, Jennifer!