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Dr Mistianne Feeney



Research Fellow


Life Sciences
University of Warwick
Tel: (0)24 765 22586

Research Interests

During embryogenesis or germination, plant cells are drastically reorganized to support the activities that will take place during the subsequent developmental phase. I am interested in learning more about cells undergoing these developmental transitions and, in particular, the fate of vacuoles. Many flowering plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana, have two main vacuole types that are morphologically distinct and serve different but essential roles during the plant's life cycle - the vegetative vacuole and the seed vacuole. While the vegetative vacuole has been well characterised, the basic biology of the Arabidopsis seed vacuole is lacking, largely due to technical difficulties working with small seed tissues. During my PhD research, I showed that vegetative tissues would acquire embryonic characteristics at the cellular level by over-expression of a key transcriptional regulator of embryogenesis, LEAFY COTYLEDON2 (LEC2). This has allowed me to study the transition from vegetative to seed vacuoles in leaves, which are a more accessible tissue-type. Upon completion of my PhD degree, I joined the lab of Dr. Lorenzo Frigerio in the School of Life Sciences to extend my work on vacuoles. Currently, my research takes advantage of the LEC2 system, and I am developing procedures to work with maturing embryos to gain a better understanding of the biogenesis of seed vacuoles.


Research Fellow, School of Life Sciences (2012-present) University of Warwick, United Kingdom
PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology (2012) University of Western Ontario, Canada
Research Assistant, Institute of Pharmacology (2005-2007), University of Bern, Switzerland
Research Technician, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc. (2003-2005), Canada
MPM, Master of Pest Management (2002) Simon Fraser University, Canada
BSc, Molecular Biology (1998) Concordia University, Canada

Member of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists
Member of the British Society for Cell Biology


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Research Themes:

Plant and Crop Science