Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Jacob Corll

Jacob Corll, first author of RNA Binding Motif Protein 48 is required for U12 splicing and maize endosperm differentiation

Current Position: OPS Lab Assistant, Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida, FL

Education: Biology, M.S., Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309 USA; Biology, B.S., Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309 USA

Non-Scientific Interests: Studying philosophy, watching interviews of scientists and other scholars discuss controversial topics.

Brief bio: I got involved in a research lab led by Dr. Douglas Wendell early on in my undergraduate career. I spent two years genotyping and isolating a novel allele via recombinant cloning in E. coli. A year later, I had the great fortune of joining Dr. Shailesh Lal’s lab at the Department of Biological Sciences at Oakland University, MI. Starting as an undergraduate, I continued on into the Master of Science Biology program in his lab to continue the project of characterizing the role of RNA Binding Protein 48 (RBM48) in maize. In my work on the project I helped to show through in vitro pull-down assays that RBM48 directly binds both U2- and U12-dependent splicing factors via protein-protein interactions, suggesting RBM48 directly interacts with the minor spliceosome. Our collaborative project with the esteemed labs of Drs. Mark Settles and Brad Barbazuk of the Departments of Horticultural Sciences and Biology, respectively, at the University of Florida have shown that this novel evolutionarily conserved protein is required for U12-dependent splicing and normal growth and development of maize endosperm. Recently graduated with my M.S. degree, I am now working in Dr. Settles’ lab to design CRISPR/Cas9-Base-Editing constructs for creating specific point mutations in maize.