As an Emeritus Fellow, Alison no longer runs a research group but interacts closely with Dr David Seung and his research group and continues to contribute to the general advancement of our science.
Alison’s research was on starch and sucrose metabolism in plants in relation to plant growth. Her group uncovered the pathways and control mechanisms in leaves that are responsible for starch synthesis during the day and conversion of starch to sucrose at night, in collaboration with the groups of Mark Stitt at the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Physiology in Potsdam and Sam Zeeman at the ETH in Zϋrich. The group also contributed to understanding of starch accumulation in cereal grains and potato tubers.
Alison’s group shed new light on the nature, complexity and signalling roles of sucrose metabolism in roots, leaves and developing seeds.
Smith A. M., Zeeman S. C. (2020)Starch: A Flexible, Adaptable Carbon Store Coupled to Plant Growth.Annual Review of Plant Biology (71)Publisher's version: 1543-5008
Pinocchi C,Ivakov A,Feil R,Trick M,Pike M,Lunn JE,Wang TL,Smith AM (2021)Restriction of cytosolic sucrose hydrolysis profoundly alters development, metabolism, and gene expression in Arabidopsis rootsJournal of Experimental Botany (72)Publisher's version: 0022-0957 (print) 1460-2431 (web)
Fünfgeld MMFF, Wang W, Ishihara H, Arrivault S, Feil R, Smith AM, Stitt M, Lunn JE, Niittylä (2022)Sucrose synthases are not involved in starch synthesis in Arabidopsis leaves.Nature plants (8)Publisher's version: 2055-0278