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University Scholar wins award on first try
August 29, 1997

Jaren I. Madden, a University Scholar from Mystic, has won a prestigious prize at the international American Institute of Biological Sciences meeting.

Madden received the "Physiological Section Award" of the Botanical Society of America for her paper "Characterization of Somatic Embryogenic Response of Pelargonium Species to Exogenous Cytokinins," which was co-authored with Plant Science Assistant Professor Carol Auer and Ecology &Evolutionary Biology Assistant Professor Cynthia S. Jones. Pelargonium is an important ornamental crop plant, which includes geraniums, and is a source of essential oils in the perfume industry. Somatic embryogenesis of the plant could increase its production and allow for the production of clonal transgenic plants. Madden is studying and comparing three wild species to understand the relationships between them and one cultivated hybrid plant. The wild species may be able to contribute genetic material for traits such as plant disease and insect resistance.

The award is presented each year to the best presentation made by a student at the annual meeting. This was the first paper Madden, who will graduate simultaneously with a bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and a master's degree in botany in 1998, has presented at a national or international event.

Renu Sehgal-Aldrich