Electronic Theses and Dissertations for Graduate School
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GENOMICS OF GENOTYPE-BY-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS IN SHRUB WILLOW (SALIX SPP.): INSECT HERBIVORY AND SOIL MICROBIOMES
Restricted (Penn State Only)
Doctor of Philosophy
Date of Defense:
February 06, 2018
John Edward Carlson, Dissertation Advisor
John Edward Carlson, Committee Chair
Yinong Yang, Committee Member
Mary Ann Victoria Bruns, Committee Member
Surinder Chopra, Outside Member
The growth of perennial shrub willow (Salix spp.), as a short rotation woody biomass crop, has superior properties for bioenergy production: short harvest cycle, high yield and adaptability to a wide range of site conditions, high net energy ratio, low demand for fertilizer and management and favorable environmental impact, like soil conservation and biodiversity. The aim of my research is to use advanced, genomics-based techniques to facilitate the breeding of new willow cultivars with improved and consistent yield across a wide variety of sites in the northeastern region, as well as resistance to pests and diseases. Understanding the interactions between environmental factors and shrub willow will be important for optimizing willow growth conditions and will also aid in developing improved cultivars that adapt better to particular environments. There are two overall objectives for this thesis study: 1. Using RNA-Seq technique to capture the transcriptome dynamics of both resistant and susceptible willow species under insect herbivore - potato leafhopper infestation, and ultimately elucidate the defensive mechanism(s) and resistant genes/pathways of shrub willow against this pest. 2. Via comparison among the rhizosphere microbial communities originated from different geographic location and willow genotypes, to identify which factors shape the rhizosphere microbiome structure and how microbiome impact willow biomass yield.
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