Auxin is a plant hormone that regulates plant growth and physiology. By
studying the location and mechanism of auxin production, scientist Anna
Stepanova from NC State University aims to precisely control where and when
this hormone is expressed so that the technique can be applied using other
plant substances, such as toxins that can kill pests. She aims to resolve
the phenomenon called "leakiness," which is the tendency of a gene to be
expressed in non-targeted tissues.
Using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, she plans to turn on and off the production of
auxin in plant parts, especially in the roots, at will. Besides this plan,
she also works on creating a university course with laboratory work out of
the techniques and tests being used in the auxin study. She also plans on
expanding the knowledge to the youth by doing an outreach activities through
live demonstrations in museums and schools.