Venture - Undergraduate Research Database
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Apple & Banana Aroma Research

A diverse research opportunity to learn many laboratory techniques including GC-MS, RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, PCR, and other molecular and applied methods while investigating the way apples and bananas naturally synthesize aroma compounds.

The Beaudry Lab of the Dept of Horticulture is looking to hire one or two highly driven, motivated, reliable and able students interested in learning and working on a diversity of projects.

1)Apple Maturity Assessment: as a service to Michigan growers our lab takes in apples across the state and assesses them for maturity: measuring internal ethylene, rating color, testing firmness, checking starch and sugar content. (Tuesdays, thru Oct)

2)Apple Aroma Diversity: to investigate what molecular and genomic elements contribute to the aroma profiles of a vast diversity of apples we will be receiving shipments every week of several apple varieties throughout the fall that will need some of the above tests performed on them but will also need to have aromas measured on our GC-MS and will need to have peel tissue excised and frozen in liquid nitrogen for further extraction, and gene expression analysis. (probably Tues thru Fri, early-mid fall for GC-MS work, late fall-early winter for extractions, cDNA synth and PCR)

3)Apple and Banana Genetic Expression: previously collected banana samples as well as the aforementioned apple samples will need to have RNA extracted, cDNA synthesized, then gene expression tested via PCR. (all week, late fall thru winter)

Note: Hired students will have the opportunity to work on all of these projects as well as the possibility of other lab-related work that may arise.


Students should be highly driven, motivated, and most importantly: reliable. Additionally they should be mentally flexible, shifting from project to project.

Specific academic requirements are not of as high importance as those above but students interested in molecular biology, aroma chemistry, or postharvest technology are especially encouraged to apply.

Applicants should email Philip Engelgau: with a resume/CV and a less than 400 word summary of how this position could help future plans/endeavors.

Project Coordinator

Philip Engelgau ( engelga2 )
Posted: 19-08-16
Start Date: 19-08-16
End Date: 19-08-28

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