These ideas are quite intriguing. I could certainly do a basic DNA electrophoresis in agarose or polyacrylamide gel, but then trying to transform the red from an RCS to an amano, that I'm not sure is something I could pull off...that would be incredible though.
Well, you can see what research has been done on an aquatic plant or a shrimp etc that has some phenotype they you can see. I agree it would be hard and while you might not answer that specific color gene isolation, you might find many other things that are of interest and different between the wild type and the Red. You try something and then see what you get. Maybe you get lucky, maybe you do not get what you want,m but you get a group of genes that codes for a mutant enzyme perhaps that confers color. Conformation it would be harder. But I think the 1st step is trying and then seeing what you can get out of that. Then go from there if you have time.
Depends on how much you are into molecular side of things and if you could parlay this into something more with an eye towards grad school. also depends if there's a lab that has some resources and can help you better focus your ideas and goals. I would go talk to a prof about it and see what ideas you can both come up with. They like students who come asking good basic questions.
As for the anthryocyain production in red plants with the presence of jasmonic acid, that also seems like it could be an interesting project. I was curious so I read a few experiments done in a similar manor with terrestrial plants. I read that anthocyanins have been found to inhibit growth of cancer cells...how has more research not been done on this??? Basically the problems I read were that there was no commercially viable process to grow and extract the anthocyanins. One study found jasmonic acid and intense light to be best for production. Could be fun to test this with aquatic red plants!
There's a practical side to this. JA is a chemical you could add to increase red coloration in aquatic plants. I looked into using it in a trace fertilizer mix, but it's not cheap. Then would anyone buy it and at what price in this small aquarium sub hobby?
Not a wise business move really.
But for research and cancer? Then it becomes a much better method. AC's can be extracted via chromatography.
You can certainly do it.
Does that mean if we could induce this while still emersed(not sure how that could be done), then by the time of flooding, the plant would be more ready for slower gas diffusion that occurs in water?
See DSM for plants.
You could as suggested by V, to do a dry start and in one tank add Ethylene.
This does not need to be a high tech thing, just a source of the gas, and have a little bit leak out and have the gas added for say a few days etc.
You can use small glad tupperware like food containers and soil to do the emergent growth and have plenty of replications. Then flooding them in an aquarium.
Ethylene treated vs non Ethylene treated.
You could pick red Luwigia(which will turn green in emergent growth, but red submersed). This might take 3-4 weeks to run this test, you could measure the AC content via TLC also.
You could use dry weight comparisons for growth.
That's all doable in a semester. I'd likely do this if I were you.