Written by Lauren Anderson.
The main project our lab has been focusing on especially our undergraduate students is the topic of plant-soil microbiome specifically the rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial composition in relation to the microbiome function for climate variation across the Great Plains grassland. Our team has collected many samples across Kansas and southern Illinois. We have been extracting DNA from those samples and have sent them to be sequenced for further analysis. The goal of this research project is to understand the host-microbial interactions in relation to the functions of the plant corresponding to different climate conditions and how it may enhance its drought resistance.
Abigail Kamke, pictured above, is one of our undergraduate research students that is involved with her part focusing on the rhizobiome diversity and its impact on drought resistant in Andropogon geradii. She personally worked on the rhizosphere portion specifically the samples that were collected from Colby, Kansas. Due to her exceptional work, she was selected as one of the five undergraduate research students from Kansas State University to go to the undergraduate research day the Capital in Topeka. In Topeka, she will present them with her findings and results from her research project along with many other undergraduate students across the state of Kansas.
Since August 2019, Shiva has been hard at work! He has since then collected all his plant samples for the first growing season - these included roots, leaves and soil samples from 4 different sites across the state of Kansas and Illinois. At the end of the season, he had collected a total of 480 roots, 480 leaves and 40 bulk soil samples. However, that is only the start :)
Now, Shiva is busy in the molecular lab extracting microbial DNA from these samples. It is has been a long semester for him as he juggles between course work, teaching as well as research, and of course play! Life as a graduate student is not easy, and it takes a lot of discipline, hard work and determination to forge ahead. Shiva definitely hits all the right notes, and we are eagerly looking forward to his success in the near future.