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Heather A. Ross

Programme: Plant Products and Food Quality


DD2 5DA,
Scotland, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44(0) 1382 560010 (direct line)



Image of Heather RossRecent PublicationsPosters

Current Research

  • Involved in investigating the effects of antioxidants from fruit extracts on the growth of cancer cells in culture. The fruit extracts have been separated into anthocyanin- and ellagitannin-rich fractions and their antiproliferative effects tested on the growth of HeLa cells.
  • Further investigation on colon cancer cells will be carried out using the Transwell system so uptake and conversion of antioxidants by a cell monolayer can be measured. Extracts from a range of different fruits have been tested and the fractions having the highest antiproliferative effect evaluated.
  • A new area of my current work is to develop techniques for measuring potato texture.

Research History

  • Many years' experience in potato physiology and biochemistry. Investigation of sucrose cleaving enzymes in the metabolism of a range of storage organs formed the study for my PhD.
  • Later work involved protein separation techniques and protein identification by Edman sequencing and led to the identification of unknown proteins from strawberries. 
  • Involved in the production of a range of transgenic potato plants to investigate metabolic effects of differentially expressing genes coding for enzymes involved in carbohydrate and ascorbate metabolism.
  • Studied the enzyme Limit Dextrinase in malting Barley grains.

Recent Publications

  • Ross, H.A., McDougall, G.J., Stewart, D. 2007. Antiproliferative activity is predominantly associated with ellagitannins in raspberry extracts. Phytochemistry 68, 218-228.
  • Souleyre, E., Taylor, M.A., Iannetta, P.P.M., Ross, H.A., Shepherd, L.V.T., Hancock, R.D., Viola, R. and Davies, H. V. 2004. Starch metabolism in developing strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) fruits. Physiologia Plantarum 121, 369 - 276.
  • McDougall, G.J., Ross, H.A., Swanston, J.S. and Davies, H.V. 2004. Limit dextrinase from germinating barley has endotransglycosylase activity which explains its activation by linear maltodextrins. Planta 218, 542 - 551.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M., Medina Escobar, N., Ross, H.A., Souleyre, E.J.F., Hancock, R.D., Witte, C.P. and Davies, H.V. 2004. Identification, cloning and expression analysis of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) Duch. mitochondrial citrate synthase and mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase. Physiologia Plantarum  121, 15 - 26.
  • McDougall, G.J., Ross, H.A., Swanston, J.S. and Davies, H.V. 2004. A novel activity for a starch debranching enzyme. Annual Report 2003/2004, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, 142 - 143.
  • Di Matteo, A., Hancock, R.D., Ross, H.A., Frusciante, L. and Viola, R. 2003. Characterisation of Chlorella pyrenoidosa L-ascorbic acid accumulating mutants: Identification of an enhanced biosynthetic enzyme activity and cloning of the putative gene from Arabidopsis thaliana.  Proceedings of SEB 2003, Southampton. Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry 134, S155 (Poster).
  • Ross, H.A., Sungurtas, J., Ducreux, L., Swanston, J.S., Davies, H.V. and McDougall, G.J. 2003. Limit dextrinase in barley cultivars of differing malting quality: activity, inhibitors and limit dextrin profiles. Journal of Cereal Science 38, 325 - 334.
  • Viola, R., Hancock, R.D., Ross, H.A., Di Matteo, A. and Simpson, C.G. 2003. Nucleotide pyrophosphatase gene sequence.
  • Taylor, M.A., Ross, H.A., McRae, D., Wright, F., Viola, R. and Davies, H.V. 2001. Copy-DNA cloning and characterisation of a potato alpha-glucosidase: expression in Esherichia coli and effects of down-regulation in transgenic potato. Planta 213, 258 - 264.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M., Medina-Escobar, N., Ross, H.A., Souleyre, E., Hancock, R.D., Fairlie, J., Taylor, M.A. and Davies, H.V. 2000. Enzymes of the TCA cycle expressed during strawberry fruit ripening. Abstracts of the 4th International Strawberry Symposium. Tampere, Finland, 9-14 July 2000.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M., Medina-Escobar, N., Ross, H.A., Souleyre, E., Taylor, M.A. and Davies, H.V. 2000.  Enzymes of the TCA cycle expressed in strawberry fruit during ripening. The Scottish Cell and Molecular Biology Group. St Andrews University, 28 January 2000.
  • Taylor, M.A., Ross, H.A., McRae, D., Stewart, D., Roberts, I.M., Duncan, G.H., Wright, F., Millam, S. and Davies, H.V. 2000. A potato α-glucosidase gene encodes a glycoprotein-processing α-glucosidase II-like activity. Demonstration of enzyme activity and effects of down-regulation in transgenic plants. Plant Journal 24, 305 - 316.
  • Ziegler, A., Cowan, G.H., Torrance, L., Ross, H.A. and Davies, H.V. 2000. Facile assessment of cDNA constructs for expression of functional antibodies in plants using the Potato virus X vector. Molecular Breeding 6, 327 - 335.