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Andrew Leakey's Laboratory

Lorena Rios


Photo of Lorena Rios

Lorena Rios-Acosta, NSF Graduate Fellow, Department of Plant Biology


Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D, Plant Biology               expected 2017

Concentrations: Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 

Dissertation title: Effect of elevated ozone on maize male and female reproductive organs


Bachelor of Science, Industrial Biotechnology                 2012

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, PR



            Tropospheric ozone (O3), an air pollutant, concentrations are predicted to increase 20% by 2050. Plant exposure to O3) induces oxidative stress through reactive oxygen species (ROS) derivatives. It can affect metabolic pathways, speed up senescence, and damage reproductive structures all of which reduce crop yield. However, the sensitivity of C4 plants to O3 exposure has not been studied thoroughly since it is believed that because of the low stomatal conductance of C4 plants O3 effects would be negligible. As part of my thesis project, I planned to evaluate the effect of elevated O3 on maize male and female reproductive organs.