Hannah De Jong

Hannah DeJong
Year: 2010

Expressing Aphid Salivary Genes in Nicotiana tabacum to Determine Protein Function

The proteins found in aphid saliva are known to mediate plant-aphid interactions. In the Jander Lab, I cloned aphid salivary genes and then transiently expressed them in N. tabacum, performing aphid bioassays to determine if the encoded proteins induced plant resistance or facilitated aphid feeding. For this project, I learned RNA and DNA work, gene cloning, and tobacco infiltration.

During my PGRP internship, I learned a variety of techniques commonly used by molecular biologists, as well as some that are more specific to research in plant-aphid interactions. The internship also reinforced my desire to pursue a career as a biological research scientist.

My Experience

The proteins found in aphid saliva are known to mediate plant-aphid interactions. In the Jander Lab, I cloned aphid salivary genes and then transiently expressed them in N. tabacum, performing aphid bioassays to determine if the encoded proteins induced plant resistance or facilitated aphid feeding. For this project, I learned RNA and DNA work, gene cloning, and tobacco infiltration.