Brendan Fahy


Contact via email

Improving the health impact of wheat starch


I have worked at the John Innes Centre since 1998 and am now working in the Hazard group which spans both the Quadram Institute Bioscience and John Innes Centre. My research has involved many different cereal species but I am now working almost exclusively on wheat. This is due to recent big improvements to the knowledge and resources now available for working on wheat, a crop that is a globally important foodstuff. My area of interest has been into the cereal grain and particularly starch and starch synthesis. Attempting to understand how starch production is controlled with a view to modifying starch properties including improving the nutritional value.

I am experienced in many different types of techniques including enzyme assays, metabolite profiling, microscopy (light and EM), genetics for both running crossing programs and mapping to identifying the mutations underlying unusual starch or grain characteristics.

Key Publications

Borrill P., Fahy B., Smith A. M., Uauy C.(2015) Wheat Grain Filling Is Limited by Grain Filling Capacity rather than the Duration of Flag Leaf Photosynthesis: A Case Study Using NAM RNAi Plants. PLOS ONE 10 e0134947

Howard T. P., Fahy B., Leigh F., Howell P., Powell W., Greenland A., Trafford K., Smith A. M.(2014) Use of advanced recombinant lines to study the impact and potential of mutations affecting starch synthesis in barley Journal of Cereal Science 59 196-202

Ceballos H., Sánchez T., Denyer K., Tofiño A. P., Rosero E. A., Dufour D., Smith A., Morante N., Pérez J. C., Fahy B.(2008) Induction and identification of a small-granule, high-amylose mutant in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56 7215-22

Bustos R., Fahy B., Hylton C. M., Seale R., Nebane N. M., Edwards A., Martin C., Smith A. M.(2004) Starch granule initiation is controlled by a heteromultimeric isoamylase in potato tubers Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 2215-2220

Patron N. J., Smith A. M., Fahy B. F., Hylton C. M., Naldrett M. J., Rossnagel B. G., Denyer K.(2002) The altered pattern of amylose accumulation in the endosperm of low-amylose barley cultivars is attributable to a single mutant allele of granule-bound starch synthase I with a deletion in the 5′-non-coding region. Plant Physiology 130 190-198