There have been many individuals who have made this project possible. Namely, Prof Paul Knox, who without his supervision and guidance I could not have completed this research. Paul has been patient, generous, and has always been there to give me detailed and balanced feedback on research planning, results, and papers. Without the funding from the Knox Cell Wall Laboratory, my research would not have been able to occur. Furthermore, without additional funding from his lab I would not have been able to attend the XIV Cell Wall Meeting that took place in Chania, Crete. During this conference I presented some of the results within this thesis, and had an excellent experience of networking, and talking to other plant cell wall biologists. Finally, I would like to thank Paul for the continual use of his monoclonal antibody probes.
I would also like to thank Ms Sue Marcus for her assistance of developing my general laboratory skills, and for building up my confidence with using immuno-based assays, particularly ELISA, and undertaking out cell wall extracts. I would also like to thank Sue for imaging, and undertaking the nitrocellulose prints of the liverworts included within this research. Likewise, I would like to thank Dr Valerie Cornuault and Dr Sara Pose-Albacete for their support and guidance on how to use Epitope Detection Chromatography, enzyme digests of cell wall materials, and sandwich-ELISA. Without their support I would not have been able to carry out these techniques that were vital for my research. Additionally, without the combined support of Dr Valerie Cornuault and Dr Ian Manfield I would have not been able to undertake Size Exclusion Chromatography on a sample of REC1. I am also grateful for the monosaccharide composition and monosaccharide linkage analyses that were undertook by Mr Bernhard Jaehrig who is based at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Centre; Georgia, US. I also would like to thank Mr Benjamin Hopkins for insightful discussions.
I would like to acknowledge the assistance from Ms Rachel Gasior who is based in the School of Geography, for her guidance on wet sieving analyses. Similarly, I want to acknowledge the help from Ms Susanne Patel from the Institute of Particle Science and Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, for her assistance with developing the dry particle dispersion assay. Without their assistance the soil assays included within this work would not be able to occur. I also want to thank Dr Katie Field for providing the three wheat cultivar seeds that were used for the initial analysis of released polysaccharides, and for uncovering REC1. I would also like to thank Prof Ian Dodd from Lancaster University’s Environment Centre for providing the barley brb and cv. Pallas Andrew seeds. I would like to thank Ms Bev Merry for providing three samples of Marchantia polymorpha gel extracts that were instrumental for the detection of REC2, and the evolutionary analysis of released polysaccharides. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my support from the University of Leeds 110 Anniversary Research Scholarship Fund.