WoW PhD student working with Juergen Ehlting, Biology, University of Victoria, and Carl Douglas, Botany Department, UBC.
Poplar is valued for its wood and fiber properties and is an ideal candidate for use as a non-food crop biofuel feedstock. Extensive genomic tools are available for this model tree including an entire sequenced genome and more recently, information on genetic variations at the level of single nucleotide polymorphisms for some natural populations.
Gaps still remain in our knowledge of the genes and proteins involved in the biosynthesis of secondary cell walls. Therefore, I aim to functionally characterize a suite of genes identified from a genetic association analysis based on secondary cell wall phenotype variation by using a combination of genomic, molecular and reverse genetics tools.