Wayne Curtis

Crop Protection using 'Gene Therapy' in the Field

This project involves protecting crops by delivering 'therapeutic' genes for plant stress (e.g. disease, drought, etc.) by using insects to deliver DNA using a deconstructed virus.  Our goal is to not only create this system, but to generate predictive models of the process starting at the molecular level of assembly of the virus with therapeutic genes, encapsidation with coat protein, uptake by the insect, then delivery of genes to plants as they feed on the plants.  This project will include a breadth of research in terms of obtaining data (both from literature and in the lab) that will be the components of this crop protection technology.  The student will have the opportunity to learn methods of molecular biology as well as tissue culture, genetic transformation and (if desired) working with insects.  

Faculty Research Links

Contact Information

Esther Gomez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator

Manish Kumar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574