Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Rachel Bai Rose Hills

Function of Importin-βs in the Arabidopsis heat stress response

Rising temperatures due to climate change pose a serious threat to global crop production. Understanding the plant heat stress response is therefore critical to the fight against climate change. Heat stress is a major stressor of plants, disrupting nearly every part of normal plant function with effects ranging from reduced photosynthetic efficiency to premature cell death.

Importin-βs, a family of nuclear transport receptors that shuttle cargo between the nucleus and cytoplasm, are essential in many plant cellular processes, including stress response, immunity, and development. While some Arabidopsis importin-βs are known to be essential for thermotolerance, the mechanisms by which other importin-βs contribute to the plant heat response remain largely unexplored. In this project, my aim is to investigate changes in the localization of importin-β proteins within the plant cell during heat stress in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in order to gain insights into the mechanisms of the plant heat response.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for your generosity in supporting my research project! I am truly grateful for this opportunity to explore the intricacies of the plant nuclear transport system and contribute to advancements in our understanding of the plant heat response. It’s always been a dream of mine to participate in researching solutions for a climate-resilient future, and I’m excited to be able to contribute to research in this field.
Profile image of Rachel Bai
Major: Molecular Environmental Biology
Mentor: Yangnan Gu
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
Back to Listings
Back to Donor Reports