Kiona completed her B.S. degree in Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida with a specialization in plant molecular and cellular biology. She is currently a graduate student in the Plant and Microbial Biosciences program at Washington University. Her research interests include understanding the role of genetics in modulating plant responses to pathogen infection and engineering resistance strategies to plant diseases in food security crops. Her project focuses on characterizing the molecular and genetic mechanisms regulating cassava resistance to cassava mosaic disease (CMD). Kiona’s past research experience includes undergraduate work in Dr. Kevin Folta’s lab analyzing a novel class of plant growth regulators in Arabidopsis. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar and Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) Scholar.
Dr. Becky Bart
Associate Faculty Member, Principle Investigator
Becky competed her undergraduate education at Reed College in Portland Oregon before pursuing her doctoral research in the Plant Pathology Department at UC Davis. There she worked with Prof. Pamela Ronald to elucidate genetic components of the rice innate immune response. Becky then worked as a postdoctoral scholar in Prof. Brian Staskawicz's laboratory at UC Berkeley to further understand the molecular and genetic interaction between the important food crop, cassava, and its major bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis. Becky began her own laboratory at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in the Fall of 2013 where she is continuing her work on cassava and expanding her focus to other important Xanthomonas incited diseases.
Dr. Dan Lin
Postdoctoral Scholar (Joint with Carrington Lab)
PI: Becky Bart
Postdoctoral Scholars: Dan Lin, Mingsheng Qi
Research Scientists: Qi Wang, Kira Veley
Graduate Students: Kiona Elliott, Anne Phillips
Technicians: Emily Holcomb, Greg Jensen, Marisa Yoder
Computational Scientists: Jeff Berry, Adam Boyher
Laboratory Assistant: Alex Weil
Undergraduate student: Sam Myers
Studying the interactions between plants, microbes and the environment
Anne completed her B.S. degree in Biology at Georgia College and State University. She is currently a graduate student in the Plant and Microbial Biosciences program at Washington University. Her project focuses on characterizing the diversity of Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum (Xcm) and how it leads to variation in the disease severity of Cotton Bacterial Blight. She is currently working on ways to better phenotype disease severity and determining how Xcm influences transcriptional regulation in Gossypium hirsutum. Her undergraduate research work in Dr. Caralyn Zehnder’s lab focused on how rhizobia confer resistance to soybean from invasive phloem feeding bugs. Additional undergraduate research work included a NSF REU focusing on lipid remodeling in phosphate starved Arabidopsis in Dr. Sam Wang’s lab at the Danforth Center as well as lichen and herbarium specimen collection and preparation with Dr. Taylor Quedensley at GCSU. She is a NSF GRFP fellow as well as a Danforth Fellow.
Dr. Kira Veley
Research Scientist (Joint with Carrington Lab)
Kira earned her BS in Biology from Ohio State University in 2004 and her PhD in Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics from Indiana University in 2009. During her time as an undergraduate, her research focus was cell fate determination, which led her to pursue a graduate dissertation focused on flowering time and the role of the environment in plant developmental timing. For her postdoctoral training, she joined the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Haswell at Washington University in St. Louis, where she published on two projects: one, defining the importance of mechanosensation in the ability of plastids to respond to osmotic stress, and two, testing how mechanical signals are utilized by plant cells to elicit responses to environmental stress. In 2015, Kira move to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center where she is currently pursuing two applied research projects. One project, jointly funded between the Bart and Carrington labs, is taking advantage of CRISPR genome editing technology to improve disease resistance in Cassava. The second project is a part of a large, collaborative initiative to better understand the interactions between sorghum, bacteria, and the environment. This project is aimed at developing a foundational understanding the sorghum microbiome and the role that these plant-bacterial interactions play in the ability of sorghum to adapt to and take advantage of resources present in the environment. It is this very question, how do plants and the environment interact at the cellular and molecular level, that drives Kira forward in her research. Outside of lab, Kira fosters and volunteers for Pet’s Second Chance Welsh Corgi Rescue and has become quite an accomplished ice cream maker.
Senior Research Technician (Joint with Carrington Lab)
Dr. Mingsheng Qi
Senior Computational Scientist
Jeff completed two Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Mathematics at Webster University, where he worked under Dr. Herman Krueger, focusing on developing mathematical models to estimate the kinetic parameters of hexokinase IV under bi-substrate competition. To further develop his modeling abilities, Jeff received a Master’s degree in Biostatistics from Washington University in St. Louis where he used two-photon microscopy to capture t-cell motility in an explanted lymph node and modeled their movement using modern statistical approaches. Jeff joined Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to focus on the bioinformatics challenges in various sequencing systems, to analyze images from the raspberry pi and phenotyper projects, and assist with statistical analyses as they are needed. Outside of the lab, Jeff enjoys his hobbies of glass and wood working and is currently training his dog to become a search and rescue canine.
Dr. Qi Wang
As a lab assistant, Alex performs a variety of tasks such as making and autoclaving media, pouring plates, isolating bacterial DNA and assessing its purity and concentration, and doing greenhouse work such as planting cotton seeds and cloning cassava. He received a Certificate of Specialization from the St. Louis Community College Life Science Laboratory Assistant Program in 2015 and is currently pursuing an associate degree in biotechnology.
Interested in joining the Bart lab?
Contact rbart 'at' danforthcenter.org
Technician (Joint with Carrington Lab)
Welcome to the BART LAB website
Bart lab alumni (current position):
Dr. Andrew Mutka (Elemental Enzymes)
Dr. Sarah Fentress (Monsanto)
Anupama Vijayaraghavan (Monsanto)
Jill Burke (San Diego State - graduate school)
Molly Kuhs (University of Minnesota - graduate school))
Hannah Lucas (Benson Hill Biosciences)
Mark Wilson (Cibo)
Dr. Julietta Jupe (Mycorrhizal Applications)