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Plant Breeding Center Student Spotlight: Kreingkrai Nonkum

My name is Kreingkrai Nonkum, I am an international student from Thailand under the Royal Thai Government Scholarship. I am a third year Ph.D. student in the Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group, in the Department of Plant Sciences. I have plans to graduate with my Ph.D. in Fall 2022. I decided to study Horticulture and Agronomy because this graduate group at UC Davis matches my undergrad and M.S degree in Agriculture and Plant Breeding, and UC Davis is the first rank agriculture university in the US, which helps me learn more about new technology and research techniques in the Plant Sciences field.

Kreingkrai Nonkum

Before studying my Ph.D. at UCDavis, I was a M.S. student at Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand and did research about sweetness controlling genes in sweet corn. This research inspired me to pursue my Ph.D. because there are some gene combinations that give a good sweetcorn flavor, however I cannot find an answer in term of molecular genetic aspect why some gene combinations give a really good flavor and sweetness, and I still don’t know how to maintain this good combination in the inbred lines. Based on my inspiration about sweetcorn, I decided to study my Ph.D. at UCDavis to learn about the bioinformatics tools that can help answer my question about sweetness controlling in sweetcorn, and gaining knowledge about application of molecular genetics on plant breeding. Fortunately, Professor Charlie Brummer gave me the opportunity to study at UC Davis in the Brummer lab. 

I have a chance to learn more about bioinformatics tools through my research on identification of Fall dormancy genes in Alfalfa. These genes can be identified by using a set of SNP markers from previous research to find SNPs that have major effects in Alfalfa fall dormancy. Most of my research focuses on In silico analysis by using Genotype by Sequencing on different levels of Fall dormancy alfalfa varieties, and some fieldwork for SNP identification and test efficiency of SNP marker for fall dormancy prediction.



My professor helps me a lot to deal with my research topic in an outstanding and creative way. He helps me by giving good advice to continue my research and gives me space to learn about all of the tools that are necessary for my research. And all people in UC Davis are ready to discuss their research with everyone. One to the best things I love about UC Davis is professors are ready to discuss your research topic anytime.

After I graduate from UC Davis, I have to go back to Thailand and work as a researcher at Kasetsart University. Due to the Royal Thai Government scholarship, I need to work in government research service. This scholarship allows me to study at UC Davis and get many opportunities to learn about teamwork by organizing the UC Davis virtual Plant Sciences Symposium, working in the SCOPE pepper and wheat organic breeding projects, and especially learning about fall dormancy in alfalfa in genetic and breeding aspects. I also get financial aid from the Horticulture and Agronomy Fellowship.

Kreingkrai in the field

The Horticulture and Agronomy graduate group at UC Davis is the best place for students who seek the opportunity to learn from the top-ranking plant sciences research university in the US. UC Davis gives me so many opportunities to do things I love to do and enjoy every step to success on my plant sciences research at UCDavis. 

Contact Kreingkrai at:
(Article originally posted in UC Davis Plant Breeding Center's July 2020 Newsletter. July 10, 2020)

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