Tyler Bissoondial, a sophomore at Kennedy High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, won first place in the category of Plant Science at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair.
As a finalist, he will be heading to the 2021 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.
Finalists from around the world will have the opportunity to compete with each other at ISEF and judging will take place from May 3-6, 2021 via video conferencing.
This is the second consecutive year Bissoondial has been named an ISEF finalist. Last year, he was selected after winning first place in the category of Environmental Science at the New York Science and Engineering Fair.
At the 2020 virtual ISEF, Bissoondial project received honorable mention in category of Life Science by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society.
At the 2021 NYSSEF, Bissoondial received second place in Plant Science and the 2021 NASA Earth System Science Project Award (Special Prize Award). Earlier in February 2021, Bissoondial earned second place at the regional level of the 2021 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Bissoondial was also recently named a national finalist to the 2021 GENIUS Olympiad, an international competition, which will be held virtually in May 2021.
For his research project, Bissoondial studied the response of plants to pathogens (e.g. bacteria). Plants are able to sense different components (called MAMPs) of pathogens and produced a defensive response. Little is known about how plant senses the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) component of some bacteria. Bissoondial demonstrated that the fern Ceratopteris richardii can sense LPS and produce a unique response. This response can be used as a potential screen to identity the elusive LPS receptors in plants.
His project is titled, “Lipopolysaccharide and Galactose Induce Cell Death in Prothallial Cells of Gametophytes of Ceratopteris richardii.” This research was conducted at home and in a high school lab. Bissoondial worked with another student, Blake Lippman from George W. Hewlett High School.