Improvements in crop productivity and development of novel membrane separation technologies can be achieved by adapting and deploying the selective membrane separation mechanisms found in plants. Whilst plants are working away at moving around half of our annual global precipitation between the soil and the atmosphere they are also taking up and managing salt, nutrient, metal and mineral ions present in soil solutions. The flux and the compartmentalisation of these ions, and of plant metabolites, is influenced by the function of mechanisms that regulate the permeability of cell and organelle membranes. In this talk Caitlin will share examples of how we can use selective membrane mechanisms from highly productive and stress tolerant plants to improve plants that are less productive and sensitive to environmental stresses, respectively. In addition, Caitlin will give examples of how membrane separation mechanisms from plants can be used to engineer novel membrane filtration technologies.