MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon High School students in Ryan Shoemaker’s and Stephen Farmer’s biology classes have been involved in a semester-long research project with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program is called “Mutant Millets” and brings inquiry-based learning and authentic science research in modern agriculture into the classroom. Shoemaker said the class studied both wild and mutant varieties of setaria viridis, a species of grass that has a short reproduction cycle.

The purpose of the research is to identify beneficial mutations that could lead to improvements in the photosynthesis and architecture (plant structure) which could result in better food crops and biofuels.

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Photos
  • Joshua Morrison/News Mount Vernon High School student Abigail Streiber measures the length of a mutant millet her group is growing in Ryan Shoemaker’s biology class.
  • Joshua Morrison/News
  • Joshua Morrison/News
  • Joshua Morrison/News
  • Joshua Morrison/News

 

Pam Schehl: 740-397-5333 or pschehl@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews

 

 

 

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