Michael McManus Award 2016: Afsana Islam

We are pleased to announce the recipient of the Michael McManus award for Best Student Paper for 2016…

as Dr Afsana Islam.

In this, its inaugural year, the award has been given to Dr Afsana Islam, previously of Massey University, for her paper titled, “Knock-down of transcript abundance of a family of Kunitz proteinase inhibitor genes in white clover (Trifolium repens) reveals a redundancy and diversity of gene function”, which was published in New Phytologist in 2015. The Kunitz Soybean Proteinase inhibitors have been implicated to function as seed storage proteins and help protect plants against insect herbivory. More recently they were shown to regulate plant developmental processes and in this area Afsana’s work contributed significantly. Afsana has shown that white clover Kunitz proteinase inhibitors play redundant and specific roles in plant metabolism and that one of the members may occupy a central role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Notwithstanding the quality of this paper, it is also fitting that Michael McManus was Afsana’s primary PhD supervisor while she conducted this research, and he is the last author on the paper. Published first online on the 17th of September 2015, sadly Michael was just unable to see the finished paper for himself.

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