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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Investigate The Interactions Between Silver Nanoparticles And Spinach Leaf By Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic Mapping, Zhiyun Zhang Nov 2016

Investigate The Interactions Between Silver Nanoparticles And Spinach Leaf By Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic Mapping, Zhiyun Zhang

Masters Theses

Owing to their increasing application and potential toxicity, engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) have been considered as a potential agricultural contaminant that may pose unknown risk to human beings. However, many techniques require invasive and complicated sample preparation procedures to detect and characterize engineered nanomaterials in complex matrices. In the first part of this thesis, we present a non-destructive and label-free approach based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic (SERS) mapping technique to qualitatively detect and characterize gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), on and in spinach leaves in situ. We were able to detect the clearly enhanced signals from AuNPs at 15 to 125 nm ...


Iron Signaling In Arabidopsis Thaliana, Celina Abundis Nov 2016

Iron Signaling In Arabidopsis Thaliana, Celina Abundis

Masters Theses

Iron is among the essential micronutrients for all living organisms and is a cofactor for many cellular redox reactions. Although iron is a highly abundant metal element found in the earth’s crust, it is also a limiting factor in plant development when it is present as insoluble ferric oxides. Plants have evolved two strategies to acquire soluble iron referred to as Strategy I and Strategy II. Our lab has focused on the Arabidopsis thaliana double mutant ysl1ysl3. The mutants display a chlorotic phenotype and are unable to correctly respond to iron deficiency.

Grafting is a common method for joining ...


Novel Advancements For Improving Sprout Safety, Kyle S. Landry Jul 2016

Novel Advancements For Improving Sprout Safety, Kyle S. Landry

Doctoral Dissertations

All varieties of bean sprouts (mung bean, alfalfa, broccoli, and radish) are classified as a “super-food” and are common staples for health conscious consumers. Along with the proposed health benefits, there is also an inherent risk of foodborne illness. When sprouts are cooked, there is little risk of illness. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore novel techniques to minimize or prevent the incidence of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of sprouts. Three areas were investigated: 1) the use of a biocontrol organism, 2) the use of a novel spontaneous carvacrol nanoemulsion, and 3) the influence of the ...


Chemically Mediated Interactions Between Hosts, Parasitic Plants And Insect Herbivores, Muvari C. Tjiurutue Jul 2016

Chemically Mediated Interactions Between Hosts, Parasitic Plants And Insect Herbivores, Muvari C. Tjiurutue

Doctoral Dissertations

Species interactions, by changing phenotypic traits, can alter the outcome of subsequent interactions. Plant-mediated responses to herbivores have been extensively studied, but little is known about plant-mediated responses involving parasitic plants within a broader community context that also includes herbivores. Because parasitic plants are important components of many ecosystems and can shape community structure, it is important to understand how host-mediated interactions influence parasite preference and success. The goal of this thesis is to examine interactions between hosts, parasitic plants and herbivores mediated by chemical traits. We first examined the effects of dodder (Cuscuta sp.) parasitism on induced defenses in ...


Understory Plant Community Structure In Forests Invaded By Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata), Jason Aylward Jul 2016

Understory Plant Community Structure In Forests Invaded By Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata), Jason Aylward

Masters Theses

ABSTRACT

UNDERSTORY PLANT COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN FORESTS INVADED BY GARLIC MUSTARD (ALLIARIA PETIOLATA)

MAY 2016

JASON ALLEN AYLWARD, B.S., PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE

M.S. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Professor Kristina Stinson

Plant invasions represent a significant threat to the structure and function of natural ecosystems. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has been identified as a threat to native communities mostly through small-scale studies and focused experiments. In this in situ observational study I examined the effects of garlic mustard invasion on species composition across multiple sites by comparing plant diversity and composition in invaded and adjacent non-invaded ...


Variations In The Invertebrate Communities Of Wild Cape Cod Cranberry Bogs, Barbara Wagner Mar 2016

Variations In The Invertebrate Communities Of Wild Cape Cod Cranberry Bogs, Barbara Wagner

Masters Theses

As a species domesticated only in the last century, agricultural cranberry plants (Vaccinium macrocarpon) remain little removed from their wild relatives. Thus, it is a potential model species for studies of the earliest stages of domestication; however, there is little available quantitative information on its wild population biology and ecology. As such information is vital to studies of the ecological changes occurring during domestication, the purpose of this study was to consolidate the relevant knowledge available and conduct a preliminary search for patterns in the invertebrate communities of wild bogs. The alpha diversity was found to be greater than the ...


Uncovering The Genetic Basis For Biofuel-Related Traits In Brachypodium Distachyon, Scott J. Lee Jan 2016

Uncovering The Genetic Basis For Biofuel-Related Traits In Brachypodium Distachyon, Scott J. Lee

Doctoral Dissertations

Biofuels derived from plant biomass present a promising avenue to address the negative aspects of fossil-fuel dependence. The sustainability of biofuel production relies in part on the efficient degradation of lignocellulosic feedstocks. In order to capitalize on the potential of lignocellulosic biofuels, the genes underlying natural genetic variation for conversion efficiency must be determined. We have developed a robust and high-throughput assay to measure feedstock quality using the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium phytofermentans. We have measured biomass accumulation phenotypes and utilized this assay to perform quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in the model grass species ...