Noe Iwasaki ’26
Exploring Natural Variation of Seed Oil Content in Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) for Climate-resilient Agriculture
Okra is extremely drought tolerant and grows in hot climates; thus, it would be a suitable crop for adapting to a changing climate and higher global temperatures. It also yields a large amount of oil per hectare and could be used as a market-viable cooking oil. I worked at the Stony Ford Seed Farm to grow okra plants in preparation for further research that will measure and characterize okra seed oil. The information gleaned from this study will inform future efforts to selectively breed okra varieties for greater seed oil content. Our team planted approximately 2,000 genetically distinct okra plants at the Seed Farm. I assisted in weeding, pruning and individually labeling each okra plant. I also bagged the okra flowers to ensure that the okra were self-pollinated and not crossed with other okra varieties. Though my focus was on the okra project, I also had the opportunity to work with other researchers at the Seed Farm on their projects. Through my experience, I learned a great deal about environmentally friendly farming practices and the work it takes to sustain a farm.
Food Systems and Health
Conway Lab, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey
Jonathan Conway, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering