The Martian

What team spirit! The Wyatt Lab paused a moment to enjoy The Martian at the Athena Grand. What did the experts think?

Wyatt Lab Martian Break


HaleysmHaley started working in the Wyatt lab in August of 2015. She is from Bainbridge, Ohio and currently a junior studying Applied Plant Biology. Haley is also in her third year of studying Chinese and is working towards a Global Leadership Certificate. Her current research is studying a specific gene and its role in plant gravitropism. She conducts her research using certain techniques such as DNA and RNA extraction, running PCR and gel electrophoresis. When Haley is not in the lab she enjoys hiking at Stroud’s Run, seeing foreign films and growing exotic tropical plants.

Farewell, Bianca. Safe Travels!

The Wyatt Lab team met at a local favorite meeting place, Jackie O’s, to send Bianca Correia off in style.


Bianca returned the next day to Brazil where she will complete her BS degree in bio-mechanical engineering. After she completes her degree, Bianca says she plans to pursue her graduate degree, and she hopes this will bring her back to Athens, Ohio and the Wyatt Lab. We hope so, too. Safe travels, Bianca. We look forward to working with you again!

RNAi Dicer Helps Confirm gps3 Candidate Gene

BiancaCorreiaBianca Corriea, visiting exchange-student researcher working in the Wyatt Lab, is using antisense RNA (asRNA) to verify the candidate gene responsible for the unique phenotype of the gps3 mutant in response to GPS treatment.

To test the gps3 candidate gene, Corriea must silence the expression of this single gene and verify that this targeted transformation results in the gps 3 phenotype. The gene silencing method that Corriea will deploy is to sequence the candidate gene and then splice a copy of the gene into agrobacterium. Agrobacterium is used in plant biology as a method of introducing genes into the genome of test plants through a process known as agrobacterium-mediated transformation mechanism. This mechanism takes advantage of the agrobacterias natural process of invading host organisms and semi-randomly inserting its DNA into the host genome.

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Peering Into the Gray Cloud Using Spaceflown RNA

colinkruseColin Kruse, Wyatt Lab manager and researcher, is looking for genes not yet identified as related to gravity response in plants. To do this, Colin and Dr. Sarah Wyatt enlisted the help of NASA to germinate seedlings in microgravity conditions aboard the International Space Station. The spaceflown samples have since returned to earth and Colin will soon complete the next milestone in the NASA-sponsored BRIC-20 microgravity experiment. Using RNA extracted from spaceflown seedlings and ground controls, Colin hopes to  identify the genes involved in the plant signalling biochemical pathway.

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Assembling a New Model Plant Genome

Anne Sternberger is a PhD student in Plant Biology and Research Assistant in the Wyatt Lab. Anne’s research interests include both systematic and molecular biology. Her current project is assembling the genome of the Downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens), a wild yellow violet with black striations. Her faculty advisers Dr. Harvey Ballard, one of the foremost experts in the world on violets, and Dr. Sarah Wyatt share an interest in this particular violet because of its mixed breeding system which creates two different flowers. Continue reading

Meet Allan Poe

allanpoeB.S. Environmental and Plant Biology, 2016
Ohio University, Athens, OH

Allan hails from Concord, Ohio. He is a senior at Ohio University working towards an Environmental and Plant Biology (BS) degree with a minor in Math and Chemistry. He started working in the Wyatt Lab May 2015. This summer Allan is coming up to speed in the Lab by practicing DNA extraction and PCR and gel electrophoresis. He has also begun researching the gps2 mutant gene in order further understand the signaling and perception mechanisms during cold gravistimulation. When Allan is not in the lab he enjoys playing music, golfing, and exploring the nearby forests. His future plans include graduate school and further research on medicinal plants.

Adam Cook Recognized With Undergraduate Research Award

Adam Cook – Student ResearcherWyatt Lab research assistant Adam Cook has been selected as the recipient of the 2014-15 Jeanette G. Grasselli Brown Undergraduate Research Award. Recipients of the prestigious award are nominated by sponsoring faculty members in recognition of their exceptional level and quality of research. The purpose of the award is to encourage and facilitate the involvement of undergraduate students in a significant research effort with faculty mentors. Congratulations, Adam!

Learn more about the Jeanette G. Grasselli Brown Undergraduate Research Award here: