Ag student wraps up research study
Local American Samoa Community College (ASCC) student Mine Lilomaiava majoring in Agriculture, was recently accepted to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program (NSF-REU) in the field of Molecular Biotechnology and Genetics at Iowa State University. Lilomaiava, who is from the village of Nu’uuli, contacted Samoa News via email, sharing information about her experience with the program.
“It is a ten week program and everyone in it is from all over the United States, except for me,” she said. “The program typically includes gene cloning and characterization, functional gnomic analyses, expression of foreign genes in bacteria, plants and animals, molecular genetics and analysis of proteomes and transcriptions,” she explained.
She said that her project focuses on confirming an interaction between a NIa-pro and a protein from Arabidopis thaliana. She added that Arabidopis is a valuable model in biotechnology to test protein-interactions. “The NIa-pro is a protease encoded by Turnip mosaic virus and is transmitted by insects, including aphids. This virus affects the Brassica family which include cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. The program will end in two weeks and I will find out my results in a few days.”
She went on to say that she would like to thank her family, especially her home mentor Dr. Otto Hansell, along with her mentors at Iowa State University.