College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

SPUR Alumni

Pierre-Alain Blosse
Plant and Microbial Biology

Reflections: This program was very important and rewarding to me. Having SPUR funding enabled me to try out new methods and techniques that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. I was able to not only learn many important laboratory techniques, but also had to learn when and how to plan experiments. I learned that science takes time, experiments can take months or years and many things can go wrong with them in the meantime, but you just have to accept it. This program showed me the life of a scientist much better than any of the classes I have taken at Cal. I received a lot of support from SPUR when I was at Cal, which helped me to be where I am today.

"This showed me the life of a scientist much better than any of the classes I have taken at Cal."

Pierre-Alain Blosse

Research: My project was to genetically insert in wheat the Ac/Ds Transposon system, which would allow us in the future to randomly knock off a gene, disrupting their function and helping us understand their function. This is crucial because wheat is one of the most important crops in the world, yet very little is known about its genome. Ac/Ds has been inserted in a number of other plants, including barley in my host laboratory. I transformed wheat using Agrobacterium mediated transformation, as well as gold particle bombardment, with the hygromycin resistance gene or the PMI gene as a selectable marker. After transformation, the immature embryos that were used were selected on media containing mannose or hygromycin. It looks like a few Ds and a few Ac lines might have been generated, but further tests, using PCR and Southern blotting, will need to be done to make sure the transgene has been inserted.

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