John Innes Centre

Prof Alison Smith

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Curriculum Vitae

  • 1975 BA University of Cambridge.
  • 1978 PhD Cambridge
  • 1998 Honorary Professor, UEA

Alison Smith

Programme Leader

Metabolic Biology

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Research interests

My expertise is in primary metabolism in plants, particularly the interconversion of sucrose and starch.  The aim of my research is to discover what determines the amount and structure of starch in plant storage organs.  My group uses biochemical, genetic and molecular biological techniques to study starch synthesis and turnover in potatoes, peas, cereals and Arabidopsis.

Recent Publications

Vriet C., Smith A. M., Wang T. L. (2014)
Root starch reserves are necessary for vigorous re-growth following cutting back in Lotus japonicus
PLoS ONE 9 e87333
Crumpton-Taylor M., Pike M., Lu K. J., Hylton C. M., Feil R., Eicke S., Lunn J. E., Zeeman S. C., Smith A. M. (2013)
Starch synthase 4 is essential for coordination of starch granule formation with chloroplast division during Arabidopsis leaf expansion
New Phytologist 200 (4) 1064-1075
Howell P., Leigh F., Bates R., Gosman N., Trafford K., Powell W., Smith A. M., Greenland A. (2013)
Rapid marker-assisted development of advanced recombinant lines from barley starch mutants
Molecular Breeding 33 243-248
Ruzanski C., Smirnova J., Rejzek M., Cockburn D., Pedersen H. L., Pike M., Willats W. G., Svensson B., Steup M., Ebenhöh O., Smith A. M., Field R. A. (2013)
A bacterial glucanotransferase can replace the complex maltose metabolism required for starch to sucrose conversion in leaves at night.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 288 (40) 28581-98
Scialdone A., Mugford S. T., Feike D., Skeffington A., Borrill P., Graf A., Smith A. M., Howard M. (2013)
Arabidopsis plants perform arithmetic division to prevent starvation at night.
eLife 2 e00669
Andriotis V. M., Pike M. J., Schwarz S. L., Rawsthorne S., Wang T. L., Smith A. M. (2012)
Altered starch turnover in the maternal plant has major effects on Arabidopsis fruit growth and seed composition.
Plant Physiology 160 (3) 1175-86
Crumpton-Taylor M., Grandison S., Png K. M., Bushby A. J., Smith A. M. (2012)
Control of starch granule numbers in Arabidopsis chloroplasts
Plant Physiology 158 (2) 905-16
Howard T. P., Fahy B., Craggs A., Mumford R., Leigh F., Howell P., Greenland A., Smith A. M. (2012)
Barley mutants with low rates of endosperm starch synthesis have low grain dormancy and high susceptibility to preharvest sprouting.
New Phytologist 194 (1) 158-67
Smith A. M. (2012)
Starch in the Arabidopsis plant
Starch/Staerke 64 (6) 421-434
Smith A. M., Kruger N. J., Lunn J. E. (2012)
Source of sugar nucleotides for starch and cellulose synthesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 (14) E776; author reply E777