Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Charlie Kortleven Rose Hills

Temperature-Mediated Transgenerational Plasticity in Mimulus

As atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise, rapid environmental shifts have led to more frequent and severe droughts. Some plants have demonstrated the capacity for rapid acclimation to abiotic stressors; however, the extent to which these responses are retained and transmitted across generations remains unclear. This study aims to explore how parental effects, potentially mediated by epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, prime offspring to cope with similar stressful environments before experiencing them directly, by altering gene expression—a process often implicated in phenotypic plasticity. To understand the mechanisms underlying transgenerational plasticity in Mimulus laciniatus, I will rely on remote supercomputing and molecular techniques for Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping, transcriptomic analyses, and characterizing the relationship between differential gene expression and potentially adaptive genomic regions. This research seeks to determine the influence of genetic variation and parental environment on shaping locally adaptive responses within and between generations, aiding conservation efforts to better predict plant responses to climate change.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so much for providing me with the opportunity to pursue this project! I am extremely grateful for your generosity and am beyond excited to work with my mentors to contribute to the field of plant biology. This experience will enable me to develop valuable skills, grow as a researcher, and get an early start to my thesis. I am honored to be chosen to receive your support!
Major: Environmental Sciences and Data Science
Mentor: Benjamin Blackman
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
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