Peptide Hormones in Plant Biology, by Sonali Roy, Peter Lundquist, Michael Udvardi and Wolf Scheible

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Christina Chiu - Clemson University

During the months of June and July, we hosted a Noble summer scholar Christina Chiu, an undergraduate student at Clemson University, South Carolina. Christina had a strong interest in studying mutualistic interactions and previous lab experience in the plant-microbe interaction field. Her 10 week project aimed to investigate in depth M. truncatula peptides with roles in improvement of agronomically important traits such as root growth and responses to environmental stresses.

Delaney Welch - Southern Oklahoma Technology Centre

As part of the outreach activities of the NSF Peptide Project at the Noble Foundation, we hosted a high school senior student Delaney Welch for seven weeks in conjunction with the Southern Oklahoma Technology Centre. Delaney went to the Lone Grove High school in Ardmore, OK where she had biotechnology as an elective for her final year course work. During her stay Delaney received theoretical as well as practical training about root nodule symbiosis.


Darian Gonzalez - Healdton High School

In April 2017, Darian Gonzalez a final year student of The Healdton High School joined us in the Udvardi lab to screen for the effect of peptides on rhizobial growth. She screened 78 peptides on the growth of Sm2011 over a 10 week period. She learnt basic laboratory skills and sterile techniques in addition to theoretical understandings about the importance of nitrogen to agriculture.

Sierra Long - Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

A final year high school student at the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center was supervised by Peter Lundquist for 10 weeks in the lab of Dr. Wolf Scheible. Sierra assisted with gene cloning for the development of A. thaliana overexpression lines including PCR amplification and E. coli transformation. In this way, she gained valuable lab skills in molecular biology. Moreover, her internship has led her into a summer position in the lab as a research technician. In the fall, Sierra will begin her undergraduate studies at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Sarah Dysinger - University of New Mexico

Sarah Dysinger, a sophomore at the University of New Mexico with a major in Genetics joined us for the summer as an NSF REU student. She learnt about plant peptides and their role in nodulation and root architecture in addition to molecular biological techniques such as PCR, cloning, CRISPR-Cas9 gene targeting, plant genetics and biochemistry.


Josiah Beal- Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

Josiah Beal was a final year high school student at the Springer high school. He spent 10 weeks in the Udvardi lab and was supervised by his postdoc mentor Sonali Roy. Josiah’s project involved both computer work and laboratory based experiments. He learnt the concept of online databases such as that maintained by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information for biomolecules and consequently helped design unique primers for a variety of small peptide coding genes. He also learnt basic molecular biological techniques such as PCR, gel electrophoresis, plasmid purification and cloning using the Golden gate system established in our lab.

Cody Burton - Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

In his final year of high school at the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center, Cody Burton was supervised by Dr. Peter Lundquist for 10 weeks in the lab of Dr. Wolf Scheible. He developed expertise in all aspects of gene cloning including PCR amplification, restriction digest and ligation and bacterial transformation. He has gained valuable lab skills in molecular biology while contributing to the development of tools for heterologous expression of SSPs. Moreover, his internship has led him into a summer position in Scheible lab as a research technician.

Kaylynn Ashby - Utah State University

Having completed her third year in the Plant Science program at Utah State University, Kaylynn is completing a summer research internship at Dr. Wolf Scheible’s lab under the supervision of Dr. Peter Lundquist. Kaylynn expanded her lab molecular biology skills for the production of SSP peptides that she used for phenotypic screening. Her screening work included Ca-burst and ROS assays in root tissue, providing her with additional training in microscopy work.

Eric Shyu - University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Eric Shyu, a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in Computer Science joined us for the summer to learn Bioinformatics. Eric Shyu was supervised by Dr. Clarissa Boschiero for 10 weeks in the lab of Dr. Patrick Zhao, and he gained Bioinformatics skills, especially by doing genome annotation, prediction of small genes and identification of small peptide coding genes in Arabidopsis thaliana model plant.


Liza Antonelli - Gordon College

Liza Antonelli is a junior Biology major at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She joined Dr. Scheible's lab for the summer of 2019 to work on a project supervised by Dr. Sonali Roy. The project aimed to identify SSPs that affect macronutrient uptake in Medicago truncatula. Liza gained experience in molecular biology lab techniques, experimental design, and science communication.

Bailey Christie - Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Bailey Christie, a recent graduate from Southeastern Oklahoma State University spent the summer with us as a Lloyd Noble Summer Scholar in Plant Science while under the supervision of Dr. Sonali Roy. While working in Dr. Wolf Scheible’s lab she focused on peptides and their effect on macro-nutrient uptake in model organisms, Arabidopsis and Brachypodium. During her time she also worked towards developing a growth and uptake system for Brachypodium. Throughout the experience, she learned many laboratory techniques as well as obtaining a greater understanding of the importance of essential macro-nutrients in agriculture.