- Author: Therese Kapaun
- Contributor: Rachel Rattner
The Lane Late navel block at Lindcove was planted in 1991 and consists of 230 trees on 29 different rootstocks. Rachel Rattner is a PhD student at UC Riverside working with Dr. Mikeal Roose in the Dept. of Botany and Plant Sciences. She is investigating the impact of small RNA molecules on fruit quality. Small RNAs are naturally found in plants, and their role is to regulate the expression of genes during citrus development. Small RNAs are a recent area of study in plants and have been shown to be important in plant development, as well as in vital processes such as nutrient uptake and responses to environmental stresses. There is evidence that some of these molecules may be species-specific and can move from shoots to roots and vice versa. Therefore, small RNAs produced in different varieties of citrus rootstocks may regulate gene expression, and ultimately fruit quality, in the scion. The results from this project will be useful to citrus breeders in the future.
Rachel is sampling Lane Late navels at Lindcove REC for her project. In this photo Rachel is being assisted by Claire Federici (Staff Research Associate at UC Riverside) and is slicing immature fruit and separating juice vesicles from the segment walls. These vesicles are quickly frozen on dry ice in the field to preserve the integrity and current state of the RNA molecules present at the time of slicing.