Overview:The involvement of Native American students and researchers in plant genome research is minimal. In an effort to increase their representation in the research community, a summer program to mentor Native American/American Indian undergraduates in plant genomics research was started on the Iowa State University campus. This summer's participants students study the genetic sequence behind Missouri 17 and B73 (types of field maize). They are also doing research on their own on the history of these field plants, Native medicinal plants, and creating a website to document the summer. One other student not involved in the original research project is studying cell culture and cell life. Students work with USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction scientists to carry out field work (to germinate and propagate the plants)and to collect and preserve plant material. As well as using the many field houses that surround Iowa State University. The students are learning to run PCRs, make gels for loading samples, and developing many lab skills that will aid them in their research. The data from the PCRs are giving students an idea of how to identify patterns in sequencing. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation, and all participating students' travel, health care, room and board, and as well as a stipend were arranged by the Iowa State University George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship program, which runs from June 6 to August 1. An advisory council made up of Tribal Elders has been involved in this process, and each Elder traveled to Ames to work with the students. In this manner, the Elders' hopes for the students have been conveyed alongside the outcomes anticipated by the researcher mentors.
Top:Thurman Redhouse Jr. (participant), Sanzhen Liu (Graduate Assistant), Larry Morris Jr. (participant), Bottom:Danielle Charley (participant), Leslie Nelson (participant), Holly Tang (Graduate Assistant)