Education and Outreach
Valdes, Imena , Chen, Huayang .
A Brief Study on Ficus Seed Germination: An International Collaboration Born Through the PLANTS Program.
Since 2010 the Botanical Society of America has awarded undergraduates the opportunity to travel to their annual meetings through the PLANTS (Preparing Leaders and Nurturing Tomorrow’s Scientists) Program. They are then paired with faculty, postdocs, and graduate students for mentoring and networking. It was through this program, in 2015, that I was introduced to Dr. Uromi Manage Goodale of Guangxi University (GXU) located in Nanning, Guangxi, China. This association was further nurtured through the joint collaboration between GXU and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Florida International University (FIU), of which I am a member of the 13th Cohort. Both GXU and the McNair Program provided funding for my travel to China in the summer of 2016, where I joined Dr. Goodale’s research team to work on Ficus seed bio-physiology. Species in the genus Ficus are considered keystone species that provide valuable food and habitats for wildlife. Many species’ germination processes are expected to be significantly affected by climate change. We assessed the effect of temperature and species on germination, defined as radicle emergence, in eight Ficus species and a control species also in the family Moraceae by placing seeds in controlled germination chambers set at 15°C, 25°C, and 35°C. The temperature experiments were analyzed using mixed models to test for their effect on germination. We found that with increase in temperature from 25°C to 35°C there was a significant reduction in germination for some species. All species germinated poorly in 15°C. However, none of the seed traits measured in this study correlated with the germination responses under 15°C, 25°C or 35°C. This research collaboration proved itself to be a stimulating experience for both my professional and personal growth; I was introduced to celebrated international scientists and research facilities, new research methodologies and techniques, and a vastly different culture. The challenges arose from the distinctive surroundings and customs of the Chinese, in daily life as well as in the lab.
Log in to add this item to your schedule
1 - Florida International University , Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Guangxi University , Guangxi Key Laboratory for Forest Ecology and Conservation, Daxuedonglu 100, Nanning, Guangxi, 530005, China
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Candidate for Awards:None