Athene M. Donald

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The aim of this work was to characterize starch synthesis, composition, and granule structure in Arabidopsis leaves. First, the potential role of starch-degrading enzymes during starch accumulation was investigated. To discover whether simultaneous synthesis and degradation of starch occurred during net accumulation, starch was labeled by supplying(More)
Amyloid fibrils are a polymeric form of protein, involving a continuous beta-sheet with the strands perpendicular to the long axis of the fibril. Although typically implicated in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, non disease-associated protein can also be converted into amyloid fibrils. Traditionally,(More)
The use of environmental scanning electron microscopy in biology is growing as more becomes understood about the advantages and limitations of the technique. These are discussed and we include new evidence about the effect of environmental scanning electron microscopy imaging on the viability of mammalian cells. We show that although specimen preparation(More)
Starch granules are principally composed of the two glucose polymers amylose and amylopectin. Native starch granules typically contain around 20% amylose and 80% amylopectin. However, it is possible to breed plants that produce starch with very different amylose and amylopectin contents. At present, the precise structural roles played by these two polymers(More)
The molecular deposition of starch extracted from normal plants and transgenically modified potato lines was investigated using a combination of light microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). ESEM permitted the detailed (10 nm) topographical analysis of starch granules in their hydrated(More)
Bovine insulin has long been known to self-assemble in vitro into amyloid fibrils. We have observed a further higher-order self-association of the protein into spherical structures, with diameters typically around 50 microm but ranging from 10 to 150 microm. In a polarizing light microscope, these structures exhibit a "Maltese-cross" extinction pattern(More)
The environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) is a direct descendant of the conventional SEM, but also permits wet and insulating samples to be imaged without prior specimen preparation. A low pressure (up to around 10 torr) of a gas can be accommodated around the sample. When this gas is water, hydrated samples can be maintained in their native(More)
Biocompatible hydrogels have a wide variety of potential applications in biotechnology and medicine, such as the controlled delivery and release of cells, cosmetics and drugs, and as supports for cell growth and tissue engineering. Rational peptide design and engineering are emerging as promising new routes to such functional biomaterials. Here, we present(More)
Reductions in activity of SSIII, the major isoform of starch synthase responsible for amylopectin synthesis in the potato tuber, result in fissuring of the starch granules. To discover the causes of the fissuring, and thus to shed light on factors that influence starch granule morphology in general, SSIII antisense lines were compared with lines with(More)
This study aimed to evaluate systematically the effect of the free use of fruits and vegetables containing an intermediate amount of phenylalanine (51–100 mg/100 g) on the biochemical control in children with phenylketonuria (PKU). Fifteen subjects with PKU, with a median age of 6 years (range 1–24 years) were studied. In a three-part prospective 15-week(More)