Ana Alonso is having a great year!
In addition to being promoted with tenure and receiving funding from the USDA, Ana Alonso has had two additional grants awarded. She is a co-PI on a collaborative grant entitled "DIMENSIONS: Secondary metabolites as drivers of fungal endophyte community diversity" where she will work with PI Jason Slot to understand how coffee plants interact with beneficial fungi. In addition her recent grant entitled "Development of resources and tools to improve oil content and quality in Pennycress” has been funded by the Department of Energy for three years. This grant seeks to identify genes that can affect oil content in the bioenergy crop Thlaspi arvense, taking advantage of its ability to produce seed oil that can be used to create biodiesel and aviation fuel. In the long run, given that human demands for biofuels are rapidly increasing the results from this study can lead to major breakthroughs for improving oil content in alternative bioenergy crops. Molecular Genetics faculty member Erich Grotewold is a co-PI on this grant.