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Washington State University Molecular Plant Sciences

We are pleased to announce the following degrees awarded.


Spring 2021
Rachael DeTar “The role of KEA1 and KEA2 transporters in plastid ion homeostasis and gene expression”

Maiporn Maipoka “The role of the RNA binding protein OsTudor-SN during rice grain development as viewed by transcriptome analysis”

Fall 2020
Raed Al Saharin “Characterization and exploring the role of brassica AP2/ERF transcription factors as CUL3-dependent E3 ligase substrates”

Hui Min Olivia Oung “The protection strategies realized in a resurrection plant under drought stress”

Erika Serrano Romero “Biochemical and diffusional limitations of C4 photosynthesis”

Bruce Williamson Benavides “Understanding the molecular basis of Fusarium Solani mediated root rot in Pisum Sativum”

Summer 2020
Nathan Grant “Exploring the natural variation of photosynthesis and abiotic stress in wheat varieties and reduced height mutants”

Spring 2020
Scott Carle “Freezing Tolerance and Genetic Marker Maps in Wheat”

Yan Liu “Investigation of the Structure and Function of Sieve Element Components”

Fall 2019
Seanna Hewitt “Transcriptomic characterization of novel fruit ripening pathways”

Kaan Koper “The plastidial alpha-glucan phosphorylase has an unexpected role in photosynthesis”

Nicholas Mueth “Small RNA_mediated gene regulation on both sides of the wheat stripe rust interaction”

Rebecca Weed “Metabolomic changes in grasses due to biotic and abiotic factors”

Summer 2019

Ryan Christian “Are All Plastids Created Equal?  Diversity, Function, and Evolution of Plastid-Targeted Genes and Chloropast Transit Peptides in Plants”  Advisor:  Amit Dhingra

Spring 2019

Erika Barbara Kruse  “Mold & Cold:  The Solution is Sweet in Winter Wheat”  Advisor:  Arron Carter

Fall 2018

Jordan Zager “Regulation of Terpenoid Biosynthesis in Secretory Cell Types”  Advisor:  Bernd Markus Lange

Paul David Mihalyov “Reinforcing the Hexaploid Wheat Breeding Pipeline with Genomic Prediction of Quantitative Traits”  Advisor:  Michael Pumphrey

Xiaoyue April Chen “(-)-Kolavenyl Diphosphate Synthase and Acetyltransferase Involved in Salvinorin A Biosynthesis Pathway in Salvia Divinorum”  Advisor:  David R. Gang

Aaron Ogden “Metabolic progression during development of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the Medicago-Sinorizobium symbiosis and the role of HsIUV and ClpXP protease machinery”  Advisor:  Michael Kahn

Summer 2018

Gracen Smith.  “Identification and Characterization of Genes Required for Chilling Tolerance in Arabidopsis”  Advisor:  John Browse

Spring 2018

Korey Brownstein, “Using Metabolomics to Investigate Native American Medicinal Plants and Their Uses”  Advisor:  David Gang

Lindani Moyo, “Tuber Necrosis-causing Viruses of Potato:  Genetic Diversity and Host-pathogen Interactions”  Advisor:  Hanu Pappu

Kim Hixson, “Network and Multi-omics Analyses of Arabidopsis Arogenate Dehydratase Knock-out and Over-Expression Mutants”  Advisor:  Norman Lewis

Matthew Garneau, “Understanding the physiological role of amino acid transport processes in pea (Pisum sativum L.) metabolism and performance”  Advisor:  Mechthild Tegeder

Wade Roberts,  “Evolutionary genomics of flower diversification in the magic flowers (Achimenes, Gesneriaceae)”  Advisor:  Eric Roalson

Shantel Martinez, “Genetic and Hormonal Mechanisms Controlling Grain Dormancy and Preharvest Sprouting Tolerance in White Wheat”  Advisor:  Camille M. Steber

Ragupathi Nagarajan, “Improving Thermal Stability of Wheat Rubisco Activase (TaRCA) via Molecular Characterization and Genetic Modification”  Advisor:  Kulvinder Gill

Fall 2017
Fainmarinat Selviani Inabuy, “Biosynthesis of Plant Specialized Diterpenoids:  Leveraging Metabolic and Transcriptomic Profiling for Gene Discovery”  Advisor:  Bernd M. Lange

James Patrick Madrid Santiago, “Investigating the Function of Leaf Amino Acid Transporters In Source and Sink Physiology in Arabidopsis thaliana”  Advisor:  Mechthild Tegeder

Spring 2017
Ben Kilian
,  “Identifying the Genetic Mechanism of Ethylene-Inductible Fruit Abscission in Sweet Cherry”  Advisor:  Amit Dhingra

Ryan Boyd,  “Variation in Photosynthetic Enzyme Kinetics and Carbon Isotope Fractionation Paremeters”  Advisor:  Asaph Cousins

Hong-Li Chou,  “The role of multifunctional RNA finding protein OsTudor-SN in rice storage protein mRNAs transport and localization”  Advisor Thomas Okita

Aaron Mahoney,  “Genetic Characterization and Rhizophere Microbial Community Analysis Associated with Root Rot Disease of Wheat”  Advisors:  Scot Hulbert, Patricia Okubara

Gaganjot Sidhu,  “Understanding the role of auxin and its transport in controlling wheat development”  Advisor:  Kulvinder Gill

Summer 2016
Sierra Beecher, “Rheology and Conductivity of Phloem”  Advisor:  Michael Knoblauch

Timothy Ross-Elliott, “StruStructural and Functional Aspects of Protophloem Sieve Element Unloading in the Root Tips of Arabidopsis thaliana”  Advisor:  Michael Knoblauch

Brenton Poirier,  “Investigating the Biosynthesis, Function, and Physiological Significance of Isoprenoids in Arabidopsis thaliana”  Advisor: Mark Lange

Spring 2016
Bilal Cakir,
“Elucidating the Rate Limiting Components of Starch Biosynthesis”  Advisor:  Thomas Okita

Na Sa, “Identification and Characterization of the Missing Phosphatase on the Riboflavin Biosynthesis Pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana”  Advisor:  Sanja Roje

David Seth Favero, “Transcriptional Control of Arabidopsis Development by AHLS”  Advisor:  Michael Neff

Fall 2015
Amandeep Dhaliwal,
“Molecular Characterization of a Wheat Ortholog of ABCB1(TaABCB1) Gene Involved in Dwarfism via Interrupted Auxin Transport”  Advisor: Kulvinder Gill

Kimberly Lynn Cotton, “Genetic and Biochemical Analysis of Essential Enzymes in Triacylglycerol Synthesis in Arabidopsis”  Advisor:  John Browse

Keiko Michell Tuttle, “Hormonal and Genetic Mechanisms Controlling Preharvest Sprouting and Late Maturity Alpha-Amylase Tolerance in Wheat”  Advisor:  Camille Steber, Michael Pumphrey

Summer 2015
Ramanjot Kaur,
PhD Molecular Plant Sciences – “Understanding and Utilizing Chromosome Paring Control in Polyploid Wheat”  Advisor:  Kulvinder Gill

Spring 2015
Reuben Tayengwa, 
PhD Molecular Plant Sciences – “Molecular Genetic Analysis of Two Plant-Specific Gene Families, SOFL and AHL, in Arabidopsis thaliana”  Advisor:  Michael Neff

Sven Nelson, PhD Molecular Plant Sciences – “Transcriptomic and hormonal analyses to elucidate the control of Arabidopsis seed dormancy”  Advisor(s):Camille Steber, Michael Neff