Shauni McGregor

The Mechanics of Stomatal Function

About me

I am a plant biologist interested in cell wall structure and function. Before starting my PhD at the University of Sheffield, I did my undergraduate degree and an MSc at Durham University. My masters research focused on vascular development in plants, specifically concerning the role of the PXY signalling network. I’ve now moved into the field of stomatal physiology for my PhD with an emphasis on the role of plant cell walls.

My project

Stomata are microscopic pores found on the epidermis of nearly all land plants. They are important research targets as they facilitate plant gas exchange, thus governing photosynthesis and water loss rates. Plants can regulate their rates of gas exchange by modulating the size of the stomatal pore. This is facilitated by two specialised guard cells which surround the stomatal pore and expand and shrink to open and close the stomata respectively. The guard cells have a unique cell wall structure, adapted to the stresses and strains of repeated shape change. This structure varies across plants from different lineages. My project aims to better characterise the stomatal cell wall and identify cell wall components of particular importance in stomatal function.


Not yet available.