CUPA-CURE: An adaptable, computational research experience manually annotating uncharacterized proteins within the cotton genome
The Cotton Uncharacterized Protein Annotation Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CUPA-CURE) engages students in an authentic research experience that contributes to the functional characterization of the cotton genome by manually annotating cotton proteins of unknown function. As a characteristic High Impact Practice (HIP), this CURE provides students with benefits such as increased engagement and confidence in the field while at the same time developing subject-specific skills in bioinformatics and literature review. Learning Objectives address recommended subject-specific content in molecular biology (Structure and Function Core Concepts from AAAS ‘Vision and Change), core competencies in bioinformatics (NIBLSEs), and basic scientific literacy skills related to finding and evaluating sources (TOSLS). Results from pre/post-surveys show students reported an increase in confidence in practical bioinformatics skills, attitudes about research, and in their ability to complete independent research. A pipeline has been established for public data curation of student results. Interested students can continue to be involved with manuscript submission and revisions as authors in a microPublication article which are further indexed in the CottonGen database.