Heyyy it’s another episode of the plants and pipettes podcast! This week, we have something special for you: we talked to Ratan Chopra, researcher at the University of Minnesota about his work domesticating pennycress. Sounds familiar? Yes! We presented his research on the blog and now had the chance to talk to him directly.
Ratan works in the lab of David Marks who is pioneering and driving forward the work on pennycress. Using its close family relationship to Arabidopsis, he and his group were able to quickly advance the knowledge and domestication of pennycress, turning it from a weed into a soon-to-be crop plant.
Ratan Chopra from the university of Minnesota in front of a field of pennycress
A few words on the words we used in the episode:
EMS: Ethyl methanesulfonate, a chemical used to induce random mutations. This is the first step to create a mutated population to be screened for relevant phenotypes.
M2 and M3: generation 2 and 3 after mutating the seeds, similar to F2 and F3 for regular offspring.
You can reach Ratan on twitter here. Thanks to Ratan for taking the time and talking to us!
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Our opening and closing music is Caravana by Phillip Gross
Until next time!