Jillian Lee Silvestrini

Investigating CRPYTOCHROME 2 (CRY2) and EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3) as molecular partners in the circadian system in Arabidopsis thaliana

I am studying the possible physical or functional interaction between ELF3 and CRY2, two genes in Arabidopsis thaliana that are involved in regulating the plants biological clock. I will study ELF3 and CRY2 using Arabidopsis plants that have mutations in these genes, resulting in dysfunctional proteins. Many of the phenotypes of the single mutants are opposite, which helps to facilitate analysis of the gene interaction. I will look at flowering time, monochromatic and white light signaling (using hypocotyl elongation as an assay), and regulation of 24-hour rhythms using Luciferase as a reporter gene. I will also analyze the protein products on a molecular level, using yeast two-hybrid and co-immuno-precipitation experiments. The interaction of these two genes could help reveal the biological pathways involved in light signaling and floral induction.

Message to Sponsor

I am thankful to be a SURF fellow this summer because the program will allow me to concentrate on my research and work towards the completion of my honors thesis without worrying about getting another job. My mentor is very excited about my project and fellowship, which inspires me to work hard and learn as much as I can. This opportunity will allow me to work in the lab a lot more and learn new techniques, which will help me to assess my future endeavors.
  • Major: Integrative Biology
  • Mentor: Frank Harmon, Plant and Microbial Biology