On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Kathleen Rhoades. Kathleen is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology program studying tart cherry breeding and genetics with Dr. Amy Iezzoni, the Tart Cherry Breeder at MSU. The goal of the breeding program is to create new varieties of tart cherry that are better-adapted to Michigan’s climate, resistant to pests and diseases, and easier to process for packing, drying, canning, and consumption. Tart cherry is an allotetraploid, meaning it has four sets of chromosomes derived from two different parental species of cherry that cross-pollinated in the wild. Kathleen is studying the way the two parental genomes in tart cherry interact and how those interactions are affecting fruit quality traits, which will help inform tart cherry breeders in their selection decisions to create improved.
If you’re interested in talking about your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Chelsie and Danny at [email protected] You can ask questions about future episodes here. Check The Sci-Files out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!