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RhizoDive: A High School Introduction to Plant Tissue Development, and Biodiversity Research Techniques through the Study of Legumes and Their Native Rhizobial Diversity

Download RhizoDive lab manual

Promoting a STEM-educated society is crucial for the U.S. to continue to stay at the fore-front of scientific discoveries and for effective utilization of technology for a sustainable society. We developed “RhizoDive”, a statewide training project (funded by an NSF-CAREER award) with the educational goal of enhancing youth participation in science and the scientific goal of evaluating rhizobial biodiversity in SD. As part of this training pipeline, we are executing a high school laboratory experience which uses soybean and red clover nodules to demonstrate the effect of meristem types on plant tissue development.

  • Participating classrooms throughout South Dakota collect soybean and red clover specimens.
  • The students read and reproduce a tissue sectioning and staining protocol from a peer reviewed journal article to gain experience in reading/understanding scientific literature, and to appreciate how scientific discoveries are communicated.
  • The students analyze tissue sections for visual meristem differences in legume specific nodule types and created/compared tissue development models for each species.

Classroom teams send the collected nodules to the Subramanian lab for molecular analysis of rhizobial diveristy using a team of undergraduate and graduate students

So far 20 high school teams have participated in the project. Contact us if you are interested in participating...