Through the CAFE funding, I was able to work in the Cheung Lab. During the summer, I continued to express and purify key proteins that are in the plant model that my lab studies, Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition to the purification of these proteins, I was able to learn techniques to check for their biological activity.
Rapid Alkalinization Factors (RALFs) are peptide hormones that are involved in various aspects of plant development and growth. My summer project is mostly concerned with the biophysical properties of pollen predominant expressed RALFs. By testing their effects on root growth as well as the ability to liquid-liquid phase separate with ligands, I was able to learn more about what roles these pollen predominately RALFs play in Arabidopsis thaliana.
I am excited to continue my work with the Cheung lab this upcoming academic year and excited to take on new challenges with the guidance of my lab mentors. I am very grateful to the CAFE Summer Scholars program for providing me with this excellent opportunity for extensive experience in research.