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Dr Siobhan Braybrook

Dr Siobhan Braybrook

Former Career Development Fellow


Siobhan Braybrook moved on from SLCU to a new role at UCLA.

Siobhan obtained her undergraduate honours degree in Plant Biology from the University of Guelph (Canada) in June 2003.  Her undergraduate work with Dr. Annette Nassuth involved cold tolerance and virus detection in cultivated grape (Vitis vinifera). Her honours research thesis was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Robert Mullen and Dr. J. Derek Bewley, and concerned the sub-cellular localization of a specific enzyme required for tomato seed germination.

In December, 2008, Siobhan obtained her doctorate in Plant Biology at the University of California at Davis (USA), under the mentorship of Dr. John Harada.  Her thesis involved the identification of the transcriptional network controlled by the important embryo specific transcription factor, LEAFY COTYLEDON2.  

Siobhan’s post-doctoral tenure was in the lab of Dr. Cris Kuhlemeier, at the University of Bern (Switzerland).  She was supported as a US National Science Foundation International Research fellow (Jan 2010- Dec 2011, OISE 0853105).  She developed projects concerning (1) patterning in sunflower, (2) the mechanics of simple cell growth, and (3) the identification of mechano-molecular mechanisms involved in shape growth in plants.

In January 2013, Siobhan started as a Career Development Fellow at the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University. She has since started The Plant Mechanics Group here which studies plant growth mechanics - see more here.

In April 2013, Siobhan was elected a Trapnell Fellow in the Natural Sciences at King's College Cambridge. More information on King's College is available here.

Key Publications

A Weber, S Braybrook, M Huflejt, G Mosca, A L Routier-Kierzkowska, R S Smith. (2015). Measuring the mechanical properties of plant cells by combining micro-indentation with osmotic treatments. Journal of Experimental Botany. first published online April 7, 2015Z Kong,

M Ioki, SA Braybrook, S Li, Z-H Ye, Y-RJ Lee, T Hotta, A Chang, J Tian, G Wang, B Liu (2015). Kinesin-4 functions in vesicular transport on cortical microtubules and regulates cell wall mechanics during cell elongation in plants. Molecular Plant Online Advance

SA Braybrook, A Peaucelle (2013) Mechano-Chemical Aspects of Organ Formation in Arabidopsis thaliana: The Relationship between Auxin and Pectin. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57813. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057813

DH Chitwood, LR Headlan1, ARanjan, SA Braybrook, DP Koenig, C Martinez, C Kuhlemeier, RS Smith, and NR Sinha. 2012. Leaf asymmetry as a developmental constraint imposed by auxin-dependent phyllotactic patterning. The Plant Cell. 24:1-10.

A Peaucelle*, SA Braybrook*, L Le Guillou, E Bron, C Kuhlemeier, H Hofte. 2011. Pectin-Induced Changes in Cell Wall Mechanics Underlie Organ Initiation in Arabidopsis. Current Biology. Online Oct. 6th. *Co-first authors

SL Stone, SA Braybrook, SL Paula, LW Kwong, J Meuser, J Pelletier, T-F Hsieh, RL Fischer, RB Goldberg, JJ Harada. 2008. Arabidopsis LEAFY COTYLEDON2 Induces Maturation Traits and Auxin Activity: Implications for Somatic Embryogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 105:3151-3156.

SA Braybrook, SL Stone, S Park, AQ Bui, BH Le, RL Fischer, RB Goldberg, JJ Harada. 2006. Genes directly regulated by LEAFY COTYLEDON2 provide insight into the control of embryo maturation and somatic embryogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA . Feb 28;103(9):3468-73.

Recent Review Publications

SA Braybrook. 2014. Signalling in plant cell patterning- mechano-molecular theory and phyllotaxis. In: The Biochemist. Special Issue: Signalling in Plants and Microbes

P Milani, SA Braybrook, A Boudaoud. 2013. Shrinking the hammer: micromechanical approaches to morphogenesis. Journal of Experimental Botany. (first published online July 19, 2013) 

SA Braybrook, H Hofte, A Peaucelle. 2012. Probing the mechanical contributions of the pectin matrix: insights for cell growth. Plant, Signaling, and Behavior. 7(8):45-46.

A Peaucelle, SA Braybrook, H Hofte. 2012. Cell wall mechanics and growth control in plants: the role of pectins revisited. In: Frontiers in Plant Physiology, Research Topic: Current challenges in plant cell walls. Volume 3, article No. 121.

SA Braybrook and C Kuhlemeier. How a plant builds leaves. 2010. The Plant Cell. 22: 1006-1018.


A confocal images of cell walls (left) used to make a cell volume map of an etiolating Arabidopsis hypocotyl (center). An elastic modulus map of a similar hypocotyl base (right). Volume map made using MorphoGraphX (Richard Smith,


An elastic modulus map of an Arabidopsis inflorescence meristem, as determined with AFM. Red regions are more rigid than blue regions. As in Peaucelle and Braybrook et al. (2011), Current Biology.


A 12 hour growth map of an Arabidopsis inflorescence meristem. Cell area increase are colored from blue to red. Analysis based on confocal imaging and processing using MorphoGraphX (Richard Smith,