Professor Peter Shaw

Group Leader Genes in the Environment

Peter’s research focuses on cell biology of the nucleus.

He has studied the functionality of substructures of the nucleus, such as the nucleolus and cajal bodies, and has mapped the genes for some of the proteins which are found in these.

Peter is studying meiotic homologue pairing in wheat, with colleague Graham Moore. He has developed tools and techniques for studying these cell components, such as methods for isolating nuclei and nucleoli from plant cells.

  • Cell biology of the nucleus
  • Functionality studies of nuclear sub structures such as cajal bodies and the nucleolus
  • Meiotic pairing and recombination

Professor Shaw’s current research projects include the analysis of chromatin dynamics and histone exchange dynamics as a function of developmental fate, using the Arabidopsis root as a model system. In parallel they have been analyzing the changes in location and organisation of specific genes during growth and development.

Recent examples have included GL2 in Arabidopsis root development and the avenacin biosynthetic pathway (with Anne Osbourn at JIC). A current project, with Caroline Dean’s lab, is to analyse the organization of FLC during vernalization.

Meiosis is another distinct function of chromosomes, and one that has profound importance both theoretically and for practical breeding applications.

Together with Graham Moore and John Doonan at IBERS, Aberystwyth, they’re investigating meiotic homologue pairing, and the mechanism by which the Ph1 locus controls pairing specificity in wheat.