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McNair Scholar 2014Jason C. Jones

Jason C. Jones is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Biochemistry. Mr. Jones served two combat tours in Iraq. He plans on getting a Ph. D. in Biochemistry. His research interests revolve around investigating the complexity of function in eukaryotes.

Jason C. Jones photo
My dream is to have my own laboratory so I can manage a team of scientists and conduct research. I would prefer an academic setting because I want to have the opportunity to mentor and teach students.

Research project

One fungus, many hosts? The symbiosis between Daldinia loculata and its many plant hosts.

Abstract: Fungal endophytes live within their plant hosts without causing disease symptoms and may aid in plant growth. The endophytic species, D. loculata is found in diverse photosynthetic hosts. In my research, I address the question of whether D. loculata is a generalist and able to associate with this apparently broad host range, or is there cryptic specialization for each host? We tested to see if various strains of D. loculata, isolated from different hosts, are able to grow in association with moss, and if so, how interactions between D. loculata and moss affect moss growth. Results to date suggest that differing strains vary greatly in their effects on moss when grown in co-culture but that differences in effects do not depend on the host of origin. While we observe direct interactions of the fungus with moss cells, colonization between moss cells has not been observed. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Georgiana May is currently a professor in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior department at the University of Minnesota. Dr. May attended University of California, Berkeley where she received her Ph. D. in Botany in 1987. Her research focuses on the evolution and genome-level variation in plant host/microbe interactions and molecular evolution of fungi. Dr. May is the author of over forty research publications and has presented her work worldwide conferences. She is pleased to serve as a McNair faculty mentor for the first time in 2014.