Goals of the unPAK Project

  1. Demonstrate that a focus on plant performance characters will reveal knockout phenotypes
  2. Quantify phenotypes and phenotypic plasticity to environmental variation (e.g., sufficient vs. deficient nutrients, growth chambers vs. greenhouse) emphasizing ecological realism of treatments
  3. Test hypotheses that knockout effects are related to gene family size
  4. Test the hypothesis that the effect of knockouts depends on the gene ontology of the locus
  5. Study how undergraduates’ involvement in this distributed research network influences their access to social capital within the scientific community


To achieve these goals, faculty, and the undergraduate students:

  1. Have developed a set of shared phenotyping protocols emphasizing performance-related traits
  2. Are phenotyping thousands of T-DNA lines in at least one standardized growth environment (check out the database for currently available data)
  3. Are collecting phenotype data from a large subset of lines across multiple environments
  4. Quantifying the number of T-DNA insertions in each line to screen out multiple inserts
  5. Enhancing cyberinfastructure to support communication, collaboration, and cross-institutional data sharing and analysis among undergraduates and faculty
  6. Conducting and analyzing a series of in-depth interviews from undergraduate interns participating in the network to explore how they exploit the network as they advance in their training
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