Congratulations to BIOTEC Researchers Awarded Borlaug Fellowships, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Dr. Parichart Burns, Senior Researcher, and Dr. Yeetoh Dabbhadatta, Researcher, from the Innovative Herbal Plant Factory Research Team, Integrative Crop Biotechnology and Management Research Group at BIOTEC, have been awarded the prestigious Borlaug Fellowship by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This fellowship provides exceptional training and collaborative research opportunities for professionals from developing and middle-income countries. Supported by the USDA, Dr. Burns and Dr. Dabbhadatta will engage in research activities in the United States for up to 12 weeks.

Dr. Burns’ project, “Plant Genome Editing Toolbox,” aims to develop a versatile plant genome editing toolkit allowing the flexibility in exchanges of target gene/reporter genes as well as nucleases. The training at the University of Missouri includes constructing gRNA constructs for rice genes, conducting in silico analyses to design CRISPR/Cas9 vectors, and generating a comprehensive CRISPR/Cas9 toolbox to advance agricultural genome editing techniques.

Dr. Dabbhadatta’s project, “Genetic Transformation System for Plant Genome Editing,” focuses on enhancing genetic transformation technologies for plant genome editing. The 12-week intensive training program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina covers various aspects of rice genome editing, from selecting target tissues for transformation and the development of vector plasmids, plant regeneration via somatic embryogenesis including the hands-on training in multiple genetic transformation techniques, along with the evaluation of edited genotypes and phenotypes of transformants.