Degree Name



Physiology and Developmental Biology


Life Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Jonathon Hill

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Brent Nielsen

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Roy Silcox


salt-tolerance, halophile, DESeq


Rising soil salinity levels worldwide have resulted in the loss of millions of hectares of viable cropland. Several solutions to this problem have been posited, including looking into the properties of salt-tolerant plants. Recent research into salttolerant plants in southern Utah has found a host of microorganisms isolated from the soil, plant surfaces, or plant tissues that stimulate salt tolerance in alfalfa. Leveraging a Mobile-CRISPRi system to repress a library of genes created through the recently developed sgRNA Library Assembly by Ligation onto Magnetic Beads (SLALOM) protocol, we induced genome-wide repression of genes in Kushneria spp. grown under optimal and high salt selective conditions. Unfortunately, due to the inability of the CRISPRi system to function in the high-salt environment, no salt-tolerance genes were discovered. The optimal salt condition revealed eight housekeeping genes and demonstrated this method requires further refinement to gain more insights into Kushneria spp. salt tolerance.