Crowdfund UC Davis thanks all of the donors who gave to this important project in February. This campaign has closed, but we are grateful for your support!
UPDATE: We were able to raise our original goal of $5,000! We will be stretching our goal to $10,000 and hope to secure that goal during the month of February.
We are integrating undergraduates into discovery-driven genome science to improve food security. Bacterial pathogens called Ralstonia are major threats to agriculture, especially for subsistence farmers in the global tropics.
We will achieve three goals:
In the Ralstonia Genomics Cohort-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE), each cohort of students works with a population of Ralstonia isolates collected around the world by our collaborators (Sally Miller, Dave Norman, Caitilyn Allen, and prior Ralstonia scientists). We carry out a DNA extraction boot-camp where the students carry out the scientific process: Pipetting 101, DNA extractions, and DNA quantification. We send the extracted DNA for Illumina sequencing. The costs are ~$200 per student researcher.
Then we spend 10 weeks exploring the data and generating new insight on the wonder of the biological world. The cohorts work together to understand and carry out the process of putting together the DNA puzzle pieces to generate a genome sequence. They explore their strains' evolutionary relatedness to other pathogens. Then, depending on the student's interests, they explore what biological traits are encoded in their bacterium's genome. Does the bacterium have genes that allow them to "smell out" chemicals from plant roots? Does the isolate have genes that allow them to chew holes in plant cell walls?
Finally, students carry out an experiment to test how fast their bacterium causes disease on tomato plants. We inoculate each of their strains into tomato plants and we measure how fast the bacteria clog up the plant's vascular system. This leads the plant to wilt--you could say that Ralstonia cause the "plant version" of a heart attack.
We actively recruit first-gen college students, with an emphasis on first-year community college transfer students. As we co-work, Prof. Lowe-Power, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers all share advice to junior scientists about careers in academic research, public health, and biotech. The cohort experience provides an opportunity for students to bond with each other and deeply engage with cutting-edge research. In Spring 2022, we ran a pilot of the program with a cohort of 4 UC Davis undergraduates, and in Winter 2023, we are collaborating with a cohort of 15 UC Davis undergraduates.
Your gift of $10 will contribute 1/10th of the costs for one undergraduate researcher to sequence, assemble, and analyze a bacterial genome
Your gift of $25 will contribute 1/4th of the costs for one undergraduate researcher to sequence, assemble, and analyze a bacterial genome
Your gift of $50 will contribute 1/2th of the costs for one undergraduate researcher to sequence, assemble, and analyze a bacterial genome.
Your gift of $150 will contribute to the costs of ONE-TWO undergraduate researchers to sequence, assemble, and analyze 1-2 bacterial genomes.
Your gift of $250 will contribute to the costs for TWO-THREE undergraduate researchers to sequence, assemble, and analyze 2.5 bacterial genomes.
Your gift of $500 will contribute to the costs for FIVE undergraduate researchers to sequence, assemble, and analyze 5 bacterial genomes.
Your gift of $1,000 will contribute to the costs for TEN undergraduate researchers to sequence, assemble, and analyze 10 bacterial genomes.