Janani Radhakrishnan

3MT 2024 Finalist Janani Radhakrishnan

Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, Natural + Applied Sciences

Thesis: Saving Canola from Narci(cyst)ic Relationships

Introduce yourself:

Hi! I am a second year master's student in Dr. Nataraj Kav's lab. I completed my bachelor's in agriculture. I enjoy getting to know new people and their perspectives.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

Clubroot is a devastating disease causing severe yield losses in cruciferous crops, including the commercially important crop, canola. Growing resistant cultivars is an effective and sustainable strategy for clubroot management. However, The clubroot pathotypes are rapidly evolving and therefore warrant the identification of new sources of resistance.

One such potential resistance gene of interest is dehydrin. Dehydrins are genes that play an important role in protecting plants from abiotic stresses like drought, salinity and frost. They are also found to exhibit anti-microbial properties. In my thesis, I try to figure out if dehydrin genes would be viable candidates for improving clubroot resistance. The findings could offer novel targets for improving resistance and help combat the clubroot disease in canola.

How does presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help you to explain your research to the public?

Science is for the society. Therefore, presenting my research project in a manner that is enjoyable and understandable by the public felt as a way of reducing the gap between science and the society. It is a great way to transfer the technologies from lab to land.

What inspires you to do research?

Research makes me resilient, persistent, and open to new ideas. Besides the experimental outcomes, I keep finding my hidden strengths and skills.

What are three key words important to your 3MT?

Clubroot, canola, dehydrins.

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities?

The Canadian economy benefits annually from the canola industry to the tune of $30 billion on average. The industry provides affordable, cardiovascular-friendly cooking oil and protein-rich feed for livestock. Canola is also used in sustainable bio-fuel production. The industry also provides a large number of employment opportunities. Because canola also has a high export value, my research will help address one of the main biotic pressures affecting this booming industry and contribute to social, environmental and economic sustainability on a provincial and international scale.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I would like to dedicate my research to all the farmers around the world who are passionately working to put food on our tables. I would also want to dedicate it to all the underrepresented communities in science who are striving to find their place. You can do it!

Janani Radhakrishnan – Saving Canola from Narci(cyst)ic Relationships

Watch Janani's Three Minute Thesis