2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Chemical Engineering
Mentor: Elizabeth Sattely (Chemical Engineering)

“Discovery and Assay of Secreted Plant Molecules that Modulate Bacterial Metabolism”

Chloe’s research project focuses on the discovery and study of natural plant molecules, called diterpenes, that have the ability to influence bacterial metabolism. Specifically, Chloe will investigate the role of these diterpenes in helping grasses adapt to environmental stress. One particular molecule of interest is brachialactone, which is secreted by Brachiaria grass and has been shown to inhibit bacterial processes in the soil around these plants. Chloe will work on understanding the mechanism of action of brachialactone using specialized assays. The ultimate goal is that this knowledge is used to develop more sustainable agricultural practices.