Principal investigator bio:
Dr Marti is a plant molecular scientist in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management Dept. at UC Berkeley. He received his MS from The University des Antilles-Guyane and a PhD from the University of Lleida in Plant Genetics.
His research focuses on the application and development of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to test for adaptation of genes with assumed roles in climatic stress.
“Use of CRISPR methods to query genes important in pine trees relating to climate change.”
The researchers expect to provide a novel use of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology for landscape genomics studies of ecology and evolution. Their focus is on long-lived plants, particularly conifers, an ecologically and economically significant western North American tree species, to test the role of gene variations in drought and temperature tolerance.
The recent drought-related mortality of conifer forests in California demonstrates regional climatic stress. Understanding the genetic basis of how trees adapt to environmental variation is critical for the conservation of healthy forests. The use of CRISPR-Cas9 to confirm gene functions and to test gene effects in nature can result in remarkable advances in landscape genomics and plant ecology.
How IDT products enable the project:
Custom-labelled DNA oligos synthetized by IDT are being used to test variations in genes associated with drought stress in several sugar pine populations. Additionally, IDT Alt-R CRISPR systems will enable editing the genes of interest, and CRISPR-Cas9 gRNA, Cas9 nucleases, and genome editing detection kits will be used for screening experiments.