Great strides have been made in the plant sciences through high-throughput DNA sequencing and analysis of plant genomes. The challenge now is to develop analogous high-throughput technologies to analyze a plant's biochemical makeup, which is the key to utilizing genomics to improve and develop new crops. Our project seeks to increase throughput and improve reproducibility and sensitivity of our existing seed screening platform. The platform uses near-infrared spectroscopy to rapidly analyze single, intact seeds and select those with the desired properties for propagation. Students will assist in modifying the screening platform, analyzing seeds both with the platform and by conventional methods, and developing the chemometric models used to determine seed properties from the near-infrared spectra.
Program mentors: John McClelland, scientist II, Ames Laboratory, and Roger Jones, associate scientist, Ames Laboratory