I am a PhD student in Food science at The Roger Andersson Lab, Department of Molecular Sciences. I obtained my master’s degree in Food Science from Sri Lanka with a scholarship to undertake my master thesis study at SLU as an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Scholarship holder. I obtained my bachelor’s degree (first class division) in Animal Science and Fisheries from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
In my current study, the possibility of utilizing different types of genetically modified and gene edited starches on novel applications will be studied. Since the physicochemical properties of the starches depend on the starch structure, in depth understanding about the structure of the genetically modified and gene edited starch and their characteristics is essential for the effective utilization of the novel starches. During this project, different types of genetically modified and gene edited starches will be chemically characterized and the influence of starch structure to the functionalities will be studied. The aim is to improve the understanding how the manipulation of starch biosynthesis can affect the resulting starch properties. Thereby, this project aims to generate the knowledge gap that links the genetics, chemical structure and properties of different starch types. The generated knowledge can be utilized in plant breeding aspects to develop potatoes and barley with tailor made starches that are with importance for technical applications.
January 2019 to May- Research Assistant in Food Science, Department of Molecular Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
May 2018 to December- Graduate Research Intern, Bioenergy, Department of Molecular Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
October 2017 to February 2018 -Graduate Research Intern, Dairy Science, Department of Molecular Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
November 2014 to June 2017- Government High School Science Teacher, Department of Education, Sri Lanka
February 2014 –November 2014- Teaching Assistant/ Temporary Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Assistant Supervisor to Nadeeka Dhanapala (Project title: Shelf Stability of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) Treated Milk Brands in Sri Lanka: A Case Study); in colloboration with University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (copy of the thesis is available on request).
Peer-reviewed research articles
Cunningham, J. L., Bramstång, L., Singh, A., Jayarathna, S., Rasmusson, A. J., Moazzami, A., & Müller, B. (2020). Impact of time and temperature on gut microbiota and SCFA composition in stool samples. PLOS ONE, 15(8), e0236944. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0236944
Jayarathna, S., Priyashantha, H., Johansson, M., Vidanarachchi, J. K., Jayawardana, B. C., & Liyanage, R. (2021). Probiotic enriched fermented soy-gel as a vegan substitute for dairy yoghurt. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, 45(1), e15092. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfpp.15092
Zhao, X.*, Jayarathna, S.*, Turesson, H., Fält, A.-S., Nestor, G., González, M. N., … Andersson, M. (2021). Amylose starch with no detectable branching developed through DNA-free CRISPR-Cas9 mediated mutagenesis of two starch branching enzymes in potato. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 4311. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83462-z *equal contribution
Popular science articles
Hasitha Priyashantha, Nazlı Türkmen, Shishanthi Jayarathna. Challenges in probiotic dairy-based beverages. New Food. Issue 5. Beverages. In-Depth Focus – October 2019.
A matter of concentration - Popular Science Article, Dairy Industries International, October 2019, Volume 84 No. 10.