Sarah Barkwill

Sarah Barkwill

Former Mansfield Lab MSc student (Jan 2013 – Jan 2017)


Cross-talk between CESAs specific to primary and secondary cell wall production in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Research Interests

Cellulose is synthesized by a specialized family of proteins called CESAs. In Arabidopsis thaliana this family is divided into two groups: those specific to primary cell wall production and those specific to secondary cell wall production. These two groups have been studied extensively in terms of their discrete wall-types with which they are associated, however, very few studies have been undertaken to examine the cross-talk between them. Using a revolutionary system in which a master transcription factor, VND7, has been harnessed to provide on-demand secondary cell wall production in all cells of the plant, I aim to visualize the turn-over from primary cell wall production to secondary cell wall production. To do this, I am employing the use of different fluorescent protein tags on primary wall specific and secondary wall specific CESAs which I image simultaneously during VND7-induced ectopic protoxylem cell differentiation.


BSc – Applied Biology, specialization in Applied Plant and Soil Sciences, University of British Columbia (2012)
MSc in progress – Wood Science, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Selected Publications and Conference Presentations

Watanabe Y, Meents MJ, McDonnell LM, Barkwill S, Sampathkumar A, Cartwright HN, Demura T, Ehrhardt DW, Samuels AL, Mansfield SD (2015). Visualization of cellulose synthases in Arabidopsis secondary cell walls.  Science 350:6257, 198-203. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac7446