Daniel Cowan-Turner

School of Natural and Environmental Science Newcastle University

Supervisors: Professor Anne Borland, Dr Maxim Kapralov, Dr James Hartwell

My main interests are in mechanisms of regulation and the evolution of regulatory networks in plants and photosynthetic organisms. I completed my BSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Newcastle Unversity.Then I completed an Mphil investigating the role of the trehalose-6-phosphate signalling on the regulation of thermomorphogenesis at varying ambient temperatures at the Max Planck Institute of Mol. Plant Physiology and the University of Manchester.

Project Title: Molecular evolution of stomatal regulation and metabolism in CAM guard cells

I study the molecular evolution of guard cell stomatal regulation and metabolism in crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant species. CAM is an alternate form of photosynthetic metabolism that confers a ~6-fold greater WUE by carrying out nocturnal CO2 assimilation thus allowing daytime stomatal closure. I am using a combination of transcriptomic, proteomic and genomic datasets to identify potential stomatal regulators.  These predictions will be made by analysing temporal and spatial expression patterns between stomatal enriched and mesophilic leaf tissue. Alongside this molecular evolution techniques will be used to potentially identify novel genes involved in CAM stomatal regulation and metabolism. These predictions will be tested by generating transgenic knockout lines. I am also carrying out a number of physiological experiments to investigate stomatal and guard cell metabolic responses to stomatal aperture influencers e.g. blue and red light; and to characterise stomatal regulatory pathways between CAM and C3 tissues.

Other activities

Attended a course in Molecular evolution at the University of Chicago’s Marine Biology Lab.

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