I research how mechanosensation plays a role in pollen development, particularly how pollen copes with swings in osmotic potential during the early steps of pollination and pollen germination. Using various molecular biological tools, we have discovered a role for pollen's sole (known) mechanosensitive ion channel in regulating pollen hydration and germination. MSL8 is required for pollen to survive the hypoosmotic stress of rehydration and for full fertility. MSL8 also negatively regulates germination. I am continuing to study how MSL8 regulates mechanical stress in pollen grains by disrupting its channel function and performing in-depth electrophysiological studies.