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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata) Management Effectiveness And Plant Community Response, Erin Coates-Connor Jan 2019

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata) Management Effectiveness And Plant Community Response, Erin Coates-Connor

Masters Theses

The control and eradication of the invasive biennial herb garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and the restoration of invaded forest habitats present important linked challenges to land managers in North America. Removing garlic mustard by hand and by glyphosate herbicide application have both been used as eradication strategies with mixed results. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but they are rarely compared for effectiveness and community impact across multiple years of management. Some previous studies have shown improvements in species diversity and plant community composition following management, while others have found no differences. To better understand both garlic mustard population and ...


Photosynthesizing The Workplace: A Study In Healthy And Holistic Production Spaces, Kaeli Howard Jan 2019

Photosynthesizing The Workplace: A Study In Healthy And Holistic Production Spaces, Kaeli Howard

Masters Theses

Throughout time nature has been a prescribed healer of stress on the human condition. Its vital integration into our daily lives has been proven by scientific evidence. The majority of Americans spend approximately 1/3 of their life working, whatever that job may entail. Therefore, it makes sense that the environments that we spend so much of our life in for work at extremely important to our physical and mental health, however, current workplace models are not acknowledging that. Redefining the workplace to integrate nature would start to change work life in this country and how work itself is viewed ...


Apple Disease Forecasting Models: When Climate Changes The Rules, Elizabeth W. Garofalo Jan 2019

Apple Disease Forecasting Models: When Climate Changes The Rules, Elizabeth W. Garofalo

Masters Theses

With a changing global climate, plant pathologists must understand the impact aberrant weather events may have on the development of plant diseases. Fungal plant infections are largely dependent on temperature and precipitation, climate parameters that are predicted to change more in this century. Venturia inaequalis causes apple scab, one of the most destructive apple diseases of temperate growing regions. Temperature and precipitation drive apple scab infections and forecast models, which guide growers in efficient, effective fungicide applications. In some recent years in the Northeast, these models have failed to accurately predict when ascospores of this fungus are available to cause ...


Context Dependency Of Invasion Impacts On The Controllers Of Invasibility In Microstegium Vimineum, Scott Vincent Janis Jan 2019

Context Dependency Of Invasion Impacts On The Controllers Of Invasibility In Microstegium Vimineum, Scott Vincent Janis

Masters Theses

Although plant invasions are of major conservation concern, understanding of the natural controls on invasion and their impacts is largely limited to static observational studies or artificially manipulated systems. Linking patterns of invasion with subsequent impacts in natural systems is necessary to fully assess invasion causes and consequences. Therefore, I employed a long-term approach to sequentially assess the controls on invasion and their subsequent impacts in a self-assembled system for the highly invasive annual grass Microstegium vimineum. I modeled likely factors contributing to the probability of invasion and local invasion success of a natural invasion of M. vimineum in a ...


Arboriculture Safety Around The World, Jamie Lim Jan 2019

Arboriculture Safety Around The World, Jamie Lim

Masters Theses

Arboricultural work is inherently dangerous, with more serious injuries and fatalities than most other professions. Safety standards exist in some jurisdictions, but it is unclear how many standards exist, how they compare to one another, and whether (and how many) jurisdictions share standards. To establish a baseline understanding of these issues, my objectives were to (i) develop a database of existing standards, (ii) identify the most frequently occurring safety topics and (iii) describe similarities and differences in safety topics among standards from different countries. I worked with a variety of contacts and traditional university library resources to identify, obtain, analyze ...


Haplotype Diversity And Population Genetic Structure Of Antistrophus Gall Wasps Associated With Two Silphium Species And Implication For Host Mediated Speciation, Jiaxin Deng Jan 2019

Haplotype Diversity And Population Genetic Structure Of Antistrophus Gall Wasps Associated With Two Silphium Species And Implication For Host Mediated Speciation, Jiaxin Deng

Masters Theses

Gall making insects form a special feeding guild of phytophagous animals, and by manipulating host plant tissue differentiation, are able to avoid plant chemical defenses and thus have no need for counter defense mechanisms. Host plant selection is crucial to the evolution of these insects because successful gall formation is largely dependent on host plant ability to respond to stimuli. In Illinois and neighboring states, Antistrophus gall wasps associated with the rosin weed (S. integrifolium) and the cup plant (S. perfoliatum) are morphologically indistinguishable and thus have been treated as belonging to single species. However, the wasps from the host ...


Variation In Leaf Morphology Of An Alpine Shrub Community Along Environmental Gradients, Abdulssalam Khafsha Jan 2019

Variation In Leaf Morphology Of An Alpine Shrub Community Along Environmental Gradients, Abdulssalam Khafsha

Masters Theses

Mountains represent complex environment gradients which strongly affect local temperature regimes and rainfall. These changes in climate conditions drive a diversity of plant responses. As alpine environments are expected to change dramatically in response to climate change, understanding plant responses to environmental variation is critical in these environments. Although they are a critical component of alpine communities, the environmental responses of shrubs have been much less examined than trees, representing an important knowledge gap. Leaves, as the primary photosynthetic organs on plants, would be expected to respond strongly to local climate conditions. In this study, I documented how the leaf ...


Medicinal Properties Of The Araliaceae, With Emphasis On Chemicals Affecting Nerve Cells, Rana Alharbi Jan 2019

Medicinal Properties Of The Araliaceae, With Emphasis On Chemicals Affecting Nerve Cells, Rana Alharbi

Masters Theses

In recent times, medicinal plants have become the focus of scientists and research. However, many have used traditional medicine to take advantage of plant extracts to treat many diseases, especially neurological diseases. Various central nervous system receptors have been shown to associate with plant extracts influencing the pharmacology and in this manner conceivably assuming a role in human sickness and treatment. For instance, extracts from Cussonia paniculata Eckl. & Zeyh targeted several early nervous and mental disease, and Kalopanax pictus has been traditionally used for the treatment of rheumatoidal arthritis, nerve pain and diabetes mellitus.

In the present study, we investigated ...


Impacts Of Plant-Microbe Interactions On Seedling Performance In A Riparian Forest Invaded By Lonicera Maackii, Taylor E. K. Strehl Jan 2019

Impacts Of Plant-Microbe Interactions On Seedling Performance In A Riparian Forest Invaded By Lonicera Maackii, Taylor E. K. Strehl

Masters Theses

Soil microbes have profound impacts on plant growth and survival and can either promote or inhibit plant dominance. Exotic plants are often strongly invasive because they have escaped their natural enemies, potentially including antagonistic soil microbes. I examined how the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii and a common native tree, Acer negundo, responded to soil microbial communities to determine the role of soil microbes in regulating invasion success. This was done by growing both species with microbes from invaded (L. maackii) and uninvaded (A. negundo) soils collected from three locations within a riparian forest. Seedlings were grown both in isolation (Experiment ...


A Pipeline For Exogenous Gene Expression And Biomass Analysis In Plants, Bijay Bisunke Jan 2019

A Pipeline For Exogenous Gene Expression And Biomass Analysis In Plants, Bijay Bisunke

Masters Theses

Biological pretreatment of biomass is typically required for the production of liquid biofuels, which are viable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. While traditional thermomechanical pretreatments are effective at helping to deconstruct lignocellulose, they are often expensive and tend to generate environmentally dangerous waste materials. An alternative to traditional pretreatment strategies is biological pretreatment, which has focused on lignocellulose-degrading organisms, such as white-rot fungi. While direct pretreatment of biomass with white-rot fungi has shown great promise, directly expressing functional white-rot fungi genes in plants (i.e. in planta expression) has the potential to be even more efficient because the biomass itself ...


The Combined Effects Of Soil Fertility And Soil Amendments On The Growth And Mycorrhizal Associations Of American Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius), Emily Ann Murray May 2018

The Combined Effects Of Soil Fertility And Soil Amendments On The Growth And Mycorrhizal Associations Of American Ginseng (Panax Quinquefolius), Emily Ann Murray

Masters Theses

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are fungi that form symbiotic associations with 70-90% of plant families. They are known to allow for the extension of the root system as well as an increase in plant size by assisting with the uptake of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The role that AMF play in plant health and success has led to the development of commercial inoculum, which is used in agricultural settings. However, soil fertility, and soil amendments are known to affect AMF and plant associations. This study intends to look at how cultivated American Ginseng seedlings are affected by commercial ...


Nutrient Conservation Trait Responses Of Low Resource Adapted Chaparral Shrubs To Increased Resource Availability, Reina Lee Nielsen Jan 2018

Nutrient Conservation Trait Responses Of Low Resource Adapted Chaparral Shrubs To Increased Resource Availability, Reina Lee Nielsen

Masters Theses

Traits that increase mean nutrient retention times are essential to plant performance in low resource environments, where multiple stressors (low water and nutrients) are present. Although physiological responses to either water or nutrient stress are well understood, fewer studies have investigated the interaction of these stressors from a phylogenetically-controlled, whole-plant perspective. This research focused on three, phylogenetically-controlled pairs of shrubby evergreen species from the California chaparral that either grow on or off serpentine soils, which differ in nutrient availability. Using greenhouse and field studies, the responses of these plants to altered water and nutrient availability were evaluated. The greenhouse study ...


Plants, Parasites, And Pollinators: The Effects Of Medicinal Pollens On A Common Gut Parasite In Bumble Bees, George Locascio Jan 2018

Plants, Parasites, And Pollinators: The Effects Of Medicinal Pollens On A Common Gut Parasite In Bumble Bees, George Locascio

Masters Theses

Declines in several pollinator species are due to a variety of factors, including pathogens. Incorporating pollinator-friendly plant species into wild and agricultural habitats could reduce the stress of pathogens if food sources act medicinally against pathogens. Previous research demonstrated one domesticated sunflower cultivar (Helianthus annuus) can dramatically reduce a gut pathogen (Crithidia bombi) of the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. To ascertain the breadth of this medicinal trait, we tested whether pollen from several H. annuus cultivars and four relatives could also reduce C. bombi infections in B. impatiens. We also investigated whether timing of exposure to sunflower pollen ...


Performance Of Floristic Quality Assessment In Massachusetts Forested Wetlands, Carolyn Gorss Jan 2018

Performance Of Floristic Quality Assessment In Massachusetts Forested Wetlands, Carolyn Gorss

Masters Theses

In order to combat the loss of valuable wetland functions and services, federal, state and tribal governments must have the tools to accurately assess and monitor the condition of wetland ecosystems. One particular method of wetland assessment is Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA), which has been growing in popularity throughout the United States since its creation in the 1970s. FQA relies on vegetative indicators of human disturbance to assess the integrity of an ecosystem. FQA calculations are based on Coefficients of Conservatism (C-scores), professionally-assigned scores ranging from 0-10 that denote a local species' tolerance to anthropogenic disturbance. Despite increasing interest in ...


Integrating Cover Crop Mixtures And No-Till For Sustainable Sweet Corn Production In The Northeast, Julie S. Fine Jan 2018

Integrating Cover Crop Mixtures And No-Till For Sustainable Sweet Corn Production In The Northeast, Julie S. Fine

Masters Theses

Fall-planted forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. longipinnatus) cover crops have shown successful weed suppression and recycling of fall-captured nutrients. This research evaluated the nutrient cycling and weed suppressive benefits of forage radish cover crop mixtures to develop an integrated system for no-till sweet corn (Zea mays L. var rugosa) production that improves crop yield and soil health. Treatments included forage radish (FR), oats (Avena sativa L.) and forage radish (OFR), a mixture of peas (Pisum sativum subsp arvense L.), oats and forage radish (POFR), and no cover crop control (NCC). Subplots were assigned to nitrogen fertilizer treatments to evaluate N ...


The Impact Of Intraspecific Density On Garlic Mustard Sinigrin Concentration, Mercedes Harris Jan 2018

The Impact Of Intraspecific Density On Garlic Mustard Sinigrin Concentration, Mercedes Harris

Masters Theses

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) is a biennial herb that produces glucosinolates, a class of constituent secondary metabolites that defend against herbivores and pathogens allowing it to grow at high densities in invaded regions. The glucosinolate sinigrin is predominant in garlic mustard and aids in its competitiveness as an invasive species. In North America, garlic mustard can grow at high densities and form dense monocultures which may increase its apparency to herbivores and therefore increase its sinigrin production. I measured leaf sinigrin concentration in garlic mustard populations of different densities in the field and in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the ...


Impact Of Oyster Mushroom Mycelium On The Growth Of Kale And Forage Radish, Levi Lilly Jan 2018

Impact Of Oyster Mushroom Mycelium On The Growth Of Kale And Forage Radish, Levi Lilly

Masters Theses

Saprophytic fungi can be paired with companion crops in interplant systems to increase production efficiency. However, fungal species/strain, substrate, and inoculation rate can affect the growth of companion crops. This project investigated the viability of open-field mushroom production by interplanting three strains of Pleurotus ostreatus (Elm A, Elm B, and 8801) with kale (B. oleracea var. acephala) and forage radish (Raphanus raphanistrub sub. sativus), and measured the effect of interplanting on plant yield over two field seasons. In the field, Elm A showed an increase in plant yield at a low inoculation rate and decrease in plant yield at ...


Impact Of Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus X Giganteus) Cultivation On Midwestern Farmland Birds, Matthew Craffey Jan 2018

Impact Of Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus X Giganteus) Cultivation On Midwestern Farmland Birds, Matthew Craffey

Masters Theses

Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) is a promising bioenergy feedstock, newly introduced to North America. However, the qualities that make Giant Miscanthus an attractive bioenergy feedstock may pose challenges to local wildlife. To assess the impacts of Giant Miscanthus on Midwestern farmland birds, I conducted point count and vegetation surveys at three sites in east-central Illinois where Giant Miscanthus was being cultivated. I used occupancy modeling to assess the relative influence of Giant Miscanthus on five species relative to other habitat and landscape characteristics. Dickcissel (Spiza Americana), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), and Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) occupancy was positively associated ...


The Transcriptional Response Of Trametes Versicolor To Growth On Maple Chips And Miscanthus Straw, Maha Alanazi Jan 2018

The Transcriptional Response Of Trametes Versicolor To Growth On Maple Chips And Miscanthus Straw, Maha Alanazi

Masters Theses

This thesis research explored the transcriptional response of Trametes versicolor, a white-rot fungus, in response to fundamentally different types of lignocellulosic biomass (miscanthus and maple) and rich medium (malt extract agar). After five weeks of growth by the fungus on the biomass, the fungal RNA was extracted from three biological replicates per biomass type and mRNA was sequenced (approximately 30 million reads per sample). The reads were processed using ArrayStar to covert to RPKM and annotated using JGI's T. versicolor GO annotation file along with NCBI's BLAST. Comparisons were made between average gene expression of the fungus grown ...


An Efficient Protocol For Root Studies In The Common Sunflower Using Composite Plants, Tyler Parks Jan 2018

An Efficient Protocol For Root Studies In The Common Sunflower Using Composite Plants, Tyler Parks

Masters Theses

Sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is one of the most important oilseed crop in the world. Oil from the seeds is prized for its' exceptional quality and flavor. Despite this, sunflowers have been forced onto marginal lands often on semi-arid and non-fertile soil, due to disease pressures and economics making it critical to produce more resilient lines and varieties to withstand these new stresses. The recent availability of the sunflower genome can allow genome-wide characterization of gene families. Stable transformation protocols, which can be used for characterization studies, have been developed for H. annuus using Agrobacterium tumefaciens, but they produce low efficiency ...


The Effect Of Self-Recognition In The Competition Between Genets Of Solidago Altissima, Charles Jaques Jan 2018

The Effect Of Self-Recognition In The Competition Between Genets Of Solidago Altissima, Charles Jaques

Masters Theses

Competition is a major driving force in the abundance, distribution, and diversity within any biological system. Plants are more likely to suffer reductions in fitness as a consequence of competition, as they typically occur in dense communities. Individuals within these populations must respond to both inter- and intraspecific competition. Recent studies suggest that the ability to distinguish kin from non-kin may play an integral role in the success of individuals within different plant populations and communities. However, a less known interaction is that between individual clones within a genet as they grow, spread, and begin to interact with nearby rival ...


Co-Product Potential Of Algae Biocake, Elizabeth J. Nixon Jan 2018

Co-Product Potential Of Algae Biocake, Elizabeth J. Nixon

Masters Theses

Society needs to find replacements for fossil fuels, which are finite resources that may be fully depleted within a few generations. While solar and wind have great potential as alternative energy sources, they are unlikely to completely replace all of the current fuel sources, particularly liquid fuels. Plant biomass has great potential for this market, and is already used in many forms for heat energy (e.g. direct combustion). However, the bulk density of important bioenergy crops, particularly grasses, is often low, which necessitates the use of binders in densification strategies. In the present study, waste algae biocake from a ...


Medicinal Properties Of Cyperus Species (Sedge Family, Cyperaceae), Lata Maishaya Udari Jan 2018

Medicinal Properties Of Cyperus Species (Sedge Family, Cyperaceae), Lata Maishaya Udari

Masters Theses

The grasses that yield therapeutically important products are among the least studied in the Cyperaceae family. Herb-based medicine from ancient times have played a vital role in ailments of various disease and nowadays it has been a particular area of interest in medicine. Phytochemicals are inherent compounds derived from plants that are biologically active, non-nutritive chemicals that act as a defensive or prophylactic medicine in humans. Their extracts have proven to show inhibition properties against different microbes. Despite the prevalence of Cyperus species and their traditional use in medicine, the chemical components responsible for their attributes remain largely unknown. This ...


Reproduction And Bioconfinement Of Mir156 Transgenic Switchgrass (Panicum Virgatum L.), Chelsea Renai Johnson Dec 2017

Reproduction And Bioconfinement Of Mir156 Transgenic Switchgrass (Panicum Virgatum L.), Chelsea Renai Johnson

Masters Theses

Genetic engineering of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), an emerging cellulosic bioenergy feedstock, has been performed to alter cell walls for improved biofuel conversion. However, gene flow from transgenic switchgrass presents regulatory issues that may prevent commercialization of the genetically engineered crop in the eastern United States. Depending on its expression level, microRNA156 (miR156) can reduce, delay or eliminate flowering, which may be useful to mitigate transgene flow. However, flowering transition is dependent upon both environmental and genetic cues. In this study of transgenic switchgrass, two low (T14 and T35) and two medium (T27 and T37) miR156 overexpressing ‘Alamo’ lines and ...


The Impact Of Genetic And Environmental Factors On Phytonutrient Concentrations Within Leafy Specialty Crops In Controlled Environments, Rosalie M. Metallo Aug 2017

The Impact Of Genetic And Environmental Factors On Phytonutrient Concentrations Within Leafy Specialty Crops In Controlled Environments, Rosalie M. Metallo

Masters Theses

Specialty leafy greens are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Many of these metabolites are influenced by microclimate environmental conditions and genotype. The objective of this thesis was to measure the impacts of abiotic factors on plant growth and development along with nutritional content of specialty leafy greens in controlled environments. Chapter one looks at changes in biomass and nutritional content of different microgreen cultivars grown in a greenhouse over four growing seasons. Chapter two looks at the influence of light-emitting diode (LED) treatments on the growth and nutritional content of hydroponically grown kale. The morphology and nutritional content ...


Foliar Mineral Accumulation Patterns Of Gypsophiles And Their Relatives From The Usa And Spain, Clare Muller Jul 2017

Foliar Mineral Accumulation Patterns Of Gypsophiles And Their Relatives From The Usa And Spain, Clare Muller

Masters Theses

Gypsum endemism in plants (gypsophily) is common on gypsum outcrops worldwide, but little is known about the functional ecology of Chihuahuan Desert gypsophiles. We investigated whether leaf chemistry of gypsophile lineages from the northern Chihuahuan Desert are similar to leaves of related non-endemic (gypsovag) species relative to their soil chemistry. We expected widely-distributed gypsophiles, hypothesized to be older lineages on gypsum, would have distinct leaf chemistry from narrowly-distributed, relatively younger lineages endemic to gypsum and gypsovags, reflecting adaptation to gypsum. We collected leaves from 23 gypsophiles and related non-endemic taxa growing on non-gypsum soils. Soils and leaves were analyzed for ...


The Effect Of Cattle Management On Soil Carbon: Implications For Climate Change, Kelly M. Livernoche May 2017

The Effect Of Cattle Management On Soil Carbon: Implications For Climate Change, Kelly M. Livernoche

Masters Theses

In naturally occurring ecosystems, forests function as substantial carbon sinks, storing carbon in soil and in biomass that would otherwise exist in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The conversion of forested land to cattle pastures and their associated operational processes are noteworthy contributors to recent increases in global carbon emissions and subsequent climate change. However, appropriately managed cattle pastures have potential to be reservoirs for carbon. Rotational cattle pastures, where cattle are moved between enclosed sections of pasture, may improve soil carbon content compared to conventional practices. In rotational cattle pastures, a more even distribution of manure increases plant biomass ...


Impact Of Burkholderia Phytofirmans Strain Psjn On The Ex Vitro Acclimatization And In Vitro Propagation Of Tissue Cultured Dionaea Muscipula (Venus Fly Trap), Peter L. Riley May 2017

Impact Of Burkholderia Phytofirmans Strain Psjn On The Ex Vitro Acclimatization And In Vitro Propagation Of Tissue Cultured Dionaea Muscipula (Venus Fly Trap), Peter L. Riley

Masters Theses

Dionaea muscipula, Venus fly trap, is an endangered plant that is propagated primarily through tissue culture. Tissue cultured plants must be acclimatized to their new environments when removed from their test tubes and the ensuing stress can result in plant mortality. A plant growth promoting rhizobacterium, Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN, has been utilized in biotic hardening of tissue cultured plants and in the amelioration of stresses, particularly drought stress in potted plants. We investigated whether this bacterium could improve either propagation or acclimatization of tissue cultured Venus fly traps. Standardized inoculations were performed by adjusting cell density of inoculant by ...


Protein, Methionine, And Cysteine Upregulation In Phaseolus Vulgaris ‘Black Turtle Bean’ Seeds Through Sulfur Fertilization At V2 And R2 Stages Of Growth, Hannah Paige Barry May 2017

Protein, Methionine, And Cysteine Upregulation In Phaseolus Vulgaris ‘Black Turtle Bean’ Seeds Through Sulfur Fertilization At V2 And R2 Stages Of Growth, Hannah Paige Barry

Masters Theses

The purpose of this research was to increase protein, methionine, and cysteine content in Phaseolus vulgaris L., common bean in relation to the inhibitory compound tannin. Previous research has shown that sulfur fertilization increases total protein, methionine and cysteine content in various crops, but always in tandem with inhibitory compound increases. If successful, the resulting bean seed will have a better nutrient profile for malnourished populations around the world.

Granular gypsum was applied at 0 kg S ha-1 [kilograms of sulfur per hectare], 10 kg S ha-1, 20 kg S ha-1, 40 kg S ha-1, 60 ...


Effect Of The Mutant Danbaekkong Or Stem Termination Alleles On Soybean Seed Protein Concentration, Amino Acid Composition, And Other Seed Quality And Agronomic Traits, Mia Justina Cunicelli May 2017

Effect Of The Mutant Danbaekkong Or Stem Termination Alleles On Soybean Seed Protein Concentration, Amino Acid Composition, And Other Seed Quality And Agronomic Traits, Mia Justina Cunicelli

Masters Theses

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is the world’s leading source of vegetable oil and high quality protein meal. Increasing soybean protein concentration through selection while maintaining oil concentration and yield has been a constant goal for plant breeders, as there is a negative correlation between protein and oil and protein and yield. The objective of this study was to determine if marker assisted selection (MAS) for the Danbaekkong (Dan) protein allele influences agronomic and seed quality traits. A population of 24 F8:10 [eighth filial generation advanced to the tenth filial generation] near isogenic lines (NILs) of soybean ...