Sun-Ju Rhee: Plant Physiology First Author

Sun-Ju Rhee, first author of “Virus-induced gene silencing for in planta validation of gene function in cucurbits”

Current Position: Postdoctoral researcher, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea.

Education: Postdoctoral researcher. Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Dept. of Integrative Plant Science, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea/ Full-time researcher. BET (Biotechnology and Environmental Technology) research institute at Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea.

B.S./ M.S. / Ph.D. Dept. of Horticultural Science, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea

 Non-scientific Interests: Artistic activities, traveling, cooking, and home décor.

Brief bio:

I have two main research interests: 1. functional genomics research in watermelon using transcriptome profiling of differentially expressed genes and evaluation of these genes by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) system (currently published in Plant physiology) and 2. Aphid-Virus-Plant triple interactions. When I was a second-year undergraduate student, I have joined Lee’s lab (Prof. Gung-Pyo Lee, Chung-Ang University) and I participated in the broad research topics covering polyploidy breeding, LMO risk assessment, isolation of physiological active substance for pest repellent, and others. After entering the master’s program, my research has focused on functional genomics in cucurbits, tomato, and chili pepper and the construction of virus vectors for heterologous expression and VIGS. I also have been working on QTL analysis and molecular marker development, molecular mapping and genotyping of important watermelon traits in elite and wild-type watermelon using whole genome resequencing, and genotyping by sequencing (GBS).

From 2017 to 2019, I have been worked on aphid-CMV-Arabidopsis interactions in John’s lab (Prof. John Carr, University of Cambridge). Specifically, I have identified the target region in the CMV 2a protein responsible for inducing PTI to aphids in Arabidopsis. Besides, I have started a project involving Dicistroviruses entitled ‘Plant-vectored’ insect-pathogenic viruses: potential for control of insect vectors of plant viruses in smallholder cropping systems. To conduct this project, I completed constructing a full-length clone of aphid lethal paralysis virus.