B.S. (Biology), St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, 2013
My research focuses on improving alfalfa resistance to the crown rot disease complex. Currently, there are no available cultivars with resistance to crown rot or fungicides with the required persistent root and crown activity. I am testing plant defensins for their antimicrobial activity against crown rot. Also, I am characterizing transgenic promoters that have pathogen-induced expression. The long-term goal is to express the most active defensin with the transgenic promoters to create an alfalfa line with increased broad-spectrum resistance to crown rot.