In #theweekof, we get to have a look within the workweek of young professionals in Seed Valley.
Paul is an research assistant marker technology at Pop Vriend Seeds. In his own words: “I examine plant DNA and thus help with the development of new, disease-resistant varieties.” He has a varied job: he works at different workplaces with different crops! Read further to get insights into the week of Paul.
Monday – 06:00 am
Goodmorning from Fargo, North Dakota! At least, for you, it’s the morning. Right now, it’s 11:00 pm over here. I’m visiting the Bean Improvement Cooperative meeting. Here, I’m meeting researchers from all over the world, to talk about the newest developments in bean breeding.
Monday – 07:00 pm
Time to go home! 🛫 It was a very informative meeting with so many new insights. That’s what I think is the coolest about working as a researcher: you learn something new every day! By the way, here I’m flying over the beautiful land of 10.000 lakes.
Tuesday – 12:00 pm
Together with my co-worker, I’m cycling to our trial field. I will be assessing green beans on different traits. This way, I’m trying to find new markers for these traits. A marker is a small, specific piece of DNA. This piece is related to a particular property of the plant, for example, whether the plant is susceptible to diseases. With markers, breeders can predict difficult properties without having to see a mature plant.
Tuesday – 04:00 pm
Is this the perfect green bean? Samples from the best green beans are gathered and will be used for further research on new markers.
Wednesday – 09:00 am
In the lab, I look at phenotypic properties. These are the “visible” properties of a plant, such as germination or reaction to diseases. These visible properties ultimately give me more information about the plant’s DNA.
Wednesday – 12:00 pm
Aaaand focus… In the flow cabinet, a sterile workplace, I’m trying to find out what makes my plants sick. I test for different pathogens. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses are all pathogens.
Thursday – 08:00 am
A quick cup of coffee, and then I’m getting started. Many different varieties have been sown recently. Today I am going to take leaf samples in the field. I will use this for DNA research.
Thursday – 03:00 pm
From the fields to the warm greenhouse. Outside I wear a thick coat, but inside I wear shorts. Outside it is too cold for the plants to survive, so our greenhouse is filled with new hybrids.
Friday – 12:00 pm
Excellent Friday afternoon job! The bean breeding materials have to be taken off the land. The season is over, and the beans are ripe. It is quite a lot, but luckily I get help from my colleagues!
Friday – 04:00 pm
It has been a fun but busy week! Time to celebrate the weekend with a well-deserved drink. Cheers!
Together we contribute to a healthy and flowering world. We’re constantly facing new challenges, and I work on the solutions. What will you do?