Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses

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Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. More about the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Honors Program can be found at: https://students.cfaes.ohio-state.edu/academics/undergraduate/honors-and-scholars

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    A quantitative exploration of wounding-induced changes to tomato steroidal glycoalkaloid profiles in diverse tomato fruits
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-12) Brewer, Avery; Cooperstone, Jessica
    It is well documented that mechanical wounding has the capability to produce a variety of local and systemic effects in plants, including alterations to their phytochemical profiles. Tomato steroidal glycoalkaloids (tSGAs) are a class of insecticidal and fungicidal cholesterol-derived metabolites produced by members of the tomato clade. Mass spectrometry-based imaging techniques such as MALDI-MSI have elucidated qualitative changes in metabolite composition at the site of wounding in tomato fruit; however, these results lack quantitative details and do not provide insight into changes on a whole-fruit scale. Additionally, these studies have evaluated post-harvest fruit from a limited range of cultivars over relatively short periods of time. To contribute a quantitative analysis of wounding-induced phytochemical profile changes on a whole-fruit scale, factor in on-plant maturation, and examine the responses across cultivars, this study examined the tSGA profiles of wounded tomato fruits across four accessions via ultra-high performance liquid chromatography, tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Four diverse accessions of tomato were selected –Tainan, LA2522, OH8243, and LA2213–due to their differing levels of baseline alkaloid content and varying degrees of cultivation. Fruits were wounded on-plant at the mature green and mature red maturation stages to provide insight into the endurance and intensity of any potential changes to tSGA profiles. Overall, this study explores the inducibility of tomato steroidal glycoalkaloid profile changes and further illuminates tomato wounding responses throughout the ripening process and across diverse accessions.
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    Efficient production of novel colorants for the food industry using 4-vinylgyauacol and cyanidin-derived anthocyanins
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Ortiz-Santiago, Thania; Giusti, M. Monica; Miyagusuku-Cruzado, Gonzalo
    The food industry is transitioning towards naturally sourced colorants in response to consumer demand for healthier foods. Anthocyanins, pigments found in nature, can serve as naturally sourced options. However, they lack stability in many food systems. Pyranoanthocyanins, anthocyanin-derived pigments with improved stability, are promising alternatives; nevertheless, their scarcity and time-consuming formation limits their usage. Pyranoanthocyanins can be formed using hydroxycinnamic acids as cofactors, but formation is time-consuming. Decarboxylated hydroxycinnamic acids may be more efficient cofactors yielding pyranoanthocyanins in shorter times with higher yields, however studies on their usage for pyranoanthocyanin formation are limited. The objective of this research was to determine the most efficient anthocyanin-to-4-vinylguaiacol ratio for production of pyranoanthocyanins. Stock solutions of anthocyanins and 4-vinylguaiacol, decarboxylated ferulic acid (FA), were prepared with water at pH 3.1. Experimental solutions were prepared with final anthocyanin-to-cofactor molar ratios ranging from 1:1 to 1:30. A FA control was prepared at an anthocyanin-to-cofactor molar ratio of 1:30. Incubation was carried out at 45 °C for up to 96 hours. uHPLC-PDA-ESI-MS/MS was used to monitor pyranoanthocyanin formation every 24 hours. Incubation with 4-vinylguaiacol or FA resulted in the formation of new peaks in the uHPLC-PDA chromatogram. These peaks showed longer retention times, a hypsochromic shift in wavelength of maximum absorption, and increased mass-per-charge ratio consistent with 10-guaiacyl-pyranoanthocyanins. Yields with 4-vinylguaiacol were up to ~4 times greater than those with FA (8.1±1.9%). This efficiency was affected by the anthocyanin-to-cofactor molar ratio (p<0.01). Ratios of 1:5 and 1:10 resulted in highest (p<0.01) pyranoanthocyanin yields (31.0±1.1% and 25.1±0.4%, respectively). Pyranoanthocyanin formation with 4-vinylguaiacol followed pseudo-first-order kinetics model while with FA followed a zero-order model. Overall, 4-vinylguaiacol was a more efficient cofactor for pyranoanthocyanin production than its precursor, ferulic acid. This work will enable the future viable use of pyranoanthocyanins in foods facilitating the transition towards naturally sourced pigments.
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    Evaluating accuracy of neutral detergent fiber methodology on effluent samples from dual-flow continuous culture fermenters
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Miller, Magdalene; Wenner, Benjamin
    Fiber is the carbohydrate portion of feed that can only be digested by gastrointestinal microbes. The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) system is used to calculate three fiber components of a sample: lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose. Accurate NDF measurements are beneficial when calculating nutritional value and digestibility of feeds. Dual-flow continuous culture fermenters (DFCC) are used to mimic rumen function and examine feedstuff digestibility without the cost of an animal trial. Effluent samples from fermenters are finely ground, which makes it more challenging to filter the sample during the NDF procedure. Our hypothesis was that the 934-AH microfiber filters (MF) would be more accurate for determining NDF content of fermenter samples. Our second hypothesis was that ash percentage in feed samples would have a direct effect on NDF accuracy. Therefore, our objectives were to compare filter types (paper vs. microfiber) and determine which was more accurate compared to a commercial laboratory standard. Our secondary objective was to evaluate the effect of ash contamination on NDF results. To make this comparison, dried effluent samples (n=24) from 3 previously published DFCC trials were assayed for NDF in triplicate and filtered by 541 paper filters (PF) or MF. In a second experiment, 3 feed samples (alfalfa hay, brewer's grains, and corn silage) were dried (55C), ground (2mm), and assayed for NDF using the PF. Ash was obtained by ashing biochar at 500C. Each feed sample was contaminated with a differing level of ash (0%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%) and run in triplicate. In a third experiment, the 3 feed samples were contaminated with either 0%, 25%, and 50% ash obtained from ashing alfalfa pellets. These samples were assayed for NDF in triplicate and were corrected for ash contamination. The MF and PF had a mean difference from the commercial laboratory standard of -2.86 and -2.50 respectively (P < 0.0001). In experiment 2, ash contamination had a direct effect on increasing the amount of NDF retained on the filter (P < 0.0001). In experiment 3, the NDF values were not affected by ash contamination when corrected for ash content. These data indicate that ash contamination has a significant effect on the recovery of NDF values using the reflux method. Since DFCC effluent samples contain around 50% ash, more work is needed to determine the best method to obtain accurate NDF values.
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    Effect of Pediococcus acidilactici on the intestinal barrier function in IPEC J-2 cells challenged with enterotoxigenic E. coli
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Due, Elizabeth; Jacobi, Sheila
    Maintenance of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a major component of proper digestion and absorption of dietary nutrients. Weaning causes a decrease in maternal antibody protection, shifting from a liquid to solid feed diet, and multiple stressors that contribute to impairment of the intestinal health and epithelial barrier. Probiotics may be an alternative to in-feed antibiotics to optimize gut health and performance and reduce the contribution to antibiotic resistance. Probiotics have been shown to increase nutrient utilization and growth performance by promoting beneficial microbial population and fortifying the intestinal barrier. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of supplemental Pediococcus acidilactici (PA) in its ability to increase intestinal integrity and reduce pathogenic attachment. Porcine intestinal epithelial cell line IPEC-J2 cells were cultured in DMEM/F12 media supplemented with 5% FBS, ITS, and EGF. Cells were then plated at a density of 2 x 105 cells/well in a 12-well plate and grown to 100% confluence. Once confluent, the cells were treated with PA for 3 h, and a probiotic adherence assay was performed. Data showed there was a positive linear relationship of adherence with increased PA concentrations of 10^8, 10^9, 10^10, 10^11 colony forming units (CFU)/mL (5.05, 6.03, 6.96, 7.67 ± 0.08 log10CFU/cm2, P<0.01). In a separate experiment, cells were treated with PA for 2 h, then challenged with ETEC for 1 h. Within the challenged cells, PA reduced pathogen adhesion shown by an inverse relationship with increased probiotic concentrations of 10^8, 10^9, 10^10, 10^11 CFU/mL (23.49, 31.48, 4.59, 0.17 ± 6.85 % of control, P<0.01). The presence of PA in culture reduced cellular cytotoxicity of IPEC-J2 cells to E. coli challenge (24.4, 28.0, -28.5, -22.6 ± 8.27% of control, P<0.01) but did not protect against intestinal barrier permeability (P>0.05). In conclusion, increasing concentrations of PA showed increased adherence to IPEC-J2 cells, supplementation of PA decreased adherence of ETEC to IPEC-J2 cells and reduced cell death.
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    Comparative Biology Investigation of H-gal-GP and H11 Specific Antibody Staining in Equine Cyathostomins
    (The Ohio State University, 2020-05) Long, Sidney; Marsh, Antoinette
    The ruminant parasite Haemonchus contortus is a blood feeding worm that uses the gut surface membrane multi-protease complex known as H-gal-GP to digest blood meals taken from the host. Drug resistance in the H. contortus species has pushed for the production of a biological-based vaccine (Barbervax®) which uses the H-gal-GP and H11 protein complex. Antibodies to the H-gal-GP and H11 protein complex cause the parasites to die after taking a blood meal. A comparative analysis of several parasite genera was performed to determine if a similar protein complex or one that is recognized by H-gal-GP and H11 specific antibodies was present. If so, it suggests the vaccine could be effective for other nematode parasites. Using the host's immune response to control parasites instead of anthelmintic drug treatments would reduce the reliance on drug use in animals. Ancylostoma caninum, Haemonchus contortus, equine cyathostomins, bovine Bunostomum phlebotomum, Ixodes scapularis, Amblyomma americanum, Dirofilaria immitis and Brugia malayi were evaluated for specific antibody binding using hyperimmunized antibodies against H-gal-GP and H11 native proteins. Specific and reproducible staining was observed in H. contortus, adult equine cyathostomins, and tissue encysted equine cyathostomins only. To further evaluate the similar reactivity's between cyathostomins and H. contortus, cross-reactivity of equine serum with antibodies to cyathostomins on H. contortus section was observed using immunofluorescence. These findings pave the way for future studies on the safety and efficacy of H-gal-GP and H11 protein complex as a potential control for equine cyathostomins.
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    Investigating the Impact of a Functional Pretzel Snack on Satiety in Postmenopausal Women with Metabolic Syndrome
    (The Ohio State University, 2018-05) Sosh, Daniel; Vodovotz, Yael
    Snacking makes up a significant portion of caloric intake and has been associated with the obesity epidemic. One possible solution is a nutritious functional snack food, designed to prolong satiety (state of fullness and inhibition of continued eating). Nutrient composition and physical properties of the food have an important role in satiety. Specifically, soy has unique physicochemical characteristics which prolong satiety and long-chain fatty acids such as linoleic acid have shown to inhibit gastric emptying. Therefore, three functional pretzels (wheat-control, wheat-safflower oil, and soy-safflower oil) were developed to evaluate the impact of high-linoleic safflower oil with and without soy on satiety. We hypothesized the synergistic combination of soy and high-linoleic safflower oil in a functional pretzel would prolong 6-hour post-prandial satiety in overweight, postmenopausal women (n=18) with metabolic syndrome. The two objectives of this study were: 1. To measure postprandial satiety over 6 hours with each of the three pretzels using blood glucose and vertical visual analogue scales (VAS). 2. To evaluate changes in apparent viscosity using rheometry of three pretzels during a 6-hour ex-vivo, gastric digestion. The soy-safflower oil pretzel resulted in a lower blood glucose AUC compared to the wheat-control (p=0.0016) and the wheat-safflower oil pretzel (p=0.0006). Among the nine attributes of satiety investigated, paired t-tests showed soy-safflower oil significantly suppressed hunger compared to wheat-control (p=0.0001) or compared to wheat-safflower oil (p=0.0016). Apparent viscosity of gastric digested pretzels is currently being correlated with clinical findings. The lower glycemic response and prolonged satiety demonstrate soy and high-linoleic acid safflower oil containing functional ingredients show promise in decreasing satiety. Incorporation of these functional snack foods into the diet could increase satiety and improve snacking behavior.
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    The effect of live body condition score of beef cows on carcass characteristics, carcass cutting yields, processor profitability, and development of tenderness in the longissimus lumborum and psoas major muscles
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-12) Scott, Kayla; Bohrer, Ben
    The objective for this experiment was to determine the effect of cull cow body condition score on carcass characteristics, carcass cutting yields, processing profitability, and development of tenderness for the longissimus lumborum and psoas major muscles. Over the course of a five-week period (May to June 2023), ten boner cull cows (targeted body condition score 4 to 6) and ten leaner cull cows (targeted body condition score 1 to 3) were purchased at a commercial sale barn in three different groups consisting of six or seven cows per group. Each group (referred to subsequently as slaughter group) consisted of three or four cows of either the boner category or the leaner category. Conformation, carcass characteristics, cutability, tenderness, pH decline, and temperature decline were recorded following slaughter. At the conclusion of this study, boner cows were found to be heavier for both live and carcass weights. This resulted in boner cows yielding larger subprimal cuts and a greater amount of lean trim, which in turn generated more revenue for meat packers. However, specific consideration should be provided for processor profitability as the ability to market subprimal cuts is highly dependent on muscle size, fat deposition, and meat quality for both boner and leaner cows. In addition, purchase price of boner versus leaner cows as well as the level of risks (such as condemnation or lameness upon arrival at the packing plant) inherent to boner versus leaner cows plays a significant role in processor profitability.
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    Milk Fat Globule Membrane Enhancement of Neurotransmitter Synthesis from Lactic Acid Bacteria
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-12) Miller, Celeste; Jimenez-Flores, Rafael
    Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), are communication molecules known to improve mood and mental health. They can be produced in the gut and send signals to the brain via the gut-brain axis. This bidirectional link involves major body systems that influence physiological responses to the environment. To complement the host’s neurotransmitter production, probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) also produce neurotransmitters. These bacteria are present in dairy foods along with the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) which is a bioactive component of milk that influences brain and gut health. We hypothesized that MFGM can enhance neurotransmitter production from LAB. Therefore, the objectives of this work were to characterize neurotransmitter production of selected LAB and determine the influence of MFGM on production. Four LAB strains (Pediococcus acidilactici, Lactobacillus helveticus, Limosilactobacillus reuteri, and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus) were selected based on screening of probiotic characteristics and/or possession of neurotransmitter synthesis genes. All strains were cultured overnight before incubation with amino acid precursors (L-Trp, L-Phe, or L-Glu) for each neurotransmitter and MFGM. For serotonin and dopamine, cell-free supernatants were partially purified using a C18 column followed by vacuum evaporation and water resuspension. Serotonin was measured using Ehrlich’s reagent at A625. Dopamine was quantified using ferric chloride and potassium hexacyanoferrate at A735. For GABA, cell-free supernatants were concentrated using vacuum evaporation before mixing with GABase solution to measure absorbance at 340nm. Serotonin and dopamine were both produced by all strains, while GABA was not detected by any strain. Serotonin production was enhanced up to 5-fold with MFGM and dopamine was unchanged by MFGM. These findings lay the foundation to further explore how dairy foods containing probiotics influence human health.
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    Seed and seedling characteristics of chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) across a domestication gradient
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-12) Fulcher, Katelyn; Mercer, Kristin
    Chile peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) are a crop with great importance both economically and culturally across Mesoamerica and beyond. During a time of climate change, the use of this crop species is threatened by rising temperatures and droughts. As such, the sources of genetic diversity found in landrace and wild (C. annuum glabriusculum) accessions are incredibly valuable. Identification of the natural adaptations in landraces and the wild relatives of chiles can facilitate the breeding of biotic and abiotic stress resistance into our crops, better securing their continued use. Seedlings, the most vulnerable stage of the plant life cycle, are an important focus area. Seed and seedling characteristics can be adaptations that assist in the survival of the plant. In this study, we examined seed and seedling characteristics across a domestication gradient in order to better understand the responses in phenotype resulting from the domestication process and the degree to which those changes may be similar across localities of origin. In order to investigate this, C. annuum seeds representing multiple domestication levels from across Mexico were measured using both digital phenotyping methods and physical measurements to quantify traits regarding size and shape of the seeds. Seeds were then planted, and seedlings grown in the greenhouse; they were measured from the time of emergence for phenotypes such as height, cotyledon size, leaf size, and number of leaves. We predicted that both seed and seedling phenotypes would significantly differ across level of domestication and across location of origin. We found that this was true for the majority of phenotypes examined, with certain phenotypes such as cotyledon area and height being especially impacted by domestication. We also found that seed phenotypes were significantly affected by both domestication and location of origin but were more strongly influenced by origin overall. These results inform our understanding of the effects of domestication and local environments on phenotypes, indicating that characteristics influencing seedling vigor may have been selected for during domestication. In addition, this research uncovered landrace and wild accessions of interest that show beneficial phenotypes that are recommended for further examination.
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    The Dating Game – Understanding Expiration Phrase-Date Salience Using Eye Tracking Technology
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Katz, Talia; Simons, Christopher; Badiger, Aishwarya; Roe, Brian
    Expiration dates on food products have been known to promote food waste in consumer households. Current policies on date labeling target standardizing the phrases without any efforts to expand date horizons. The current research in this field is unclear regarding whether the date (Nov 29) or the phrase (e.g. sell by) has the greatest impact on food discard. Eye tracking technology is a useful tool which can be used for visual analysis. This implicit technique allows researchers to see beyond just the explicit feedback that participants provide and see truly what they are looking at. Eye-tracking was used to analyze how consumers look at milk expiration labels and what information ultimately encourages them to keep or discard foods. The study was conducted using a mixed design with 68 participants. Panelists wore eye-tracking glasses throughout the study and saw multiple milk carton images on the screen featuring different dates. Along with the images, they were given physical milk samples to smell which they were told were from the milk carton on the screen. Data was processed in Tobii Pro Lab software and a Mixed ANOVA model was used for statistical analyses. The results indicated that viewers tend to fixate on the date more than the phrasing (p<0.001) when making their discard decisions, both in the presence and in the absence of a real shelf-life indicator. On average, 50% of the panelists did not look at the phrase at all. Panelists tend to fixate more on the date when a "use by" label was present as opposed to "best if used by" or "sell by" label (p=0.037). Since the label phrase is rarely looked at when making discard decisions, standardizing the phrases is unlikely to reduce food discard by itself. The results from this study inform current policy development surrounding date labeling with the potential to influence food discard and consequently food waste.
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    Porkopolis: How It Came To Be And Its Legacy
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Nuss, Hudson; Elmore, Bart; Johnston, Renee
    During the first half of the nineteenth century Cincinnati, Ohio became the pork-packing center of America. A combination of ideal river placement to facilitate trade, farming trends in the westward expansion of the United States which provided the city with millions of well-fed hogs, developments in industrialization, innovation in the slaughtering, packing, and by-product industries, and more allowed for the city to become known as Porkopolis. Each winter the many meatpacking facilities of the city would slaughter and process thousands of hogs, reaching upwards of 500,000 by the 1850s. This industry supplied the city's citizens with jobs and brought large amounts of revenue into the city. The success of the pork-packing facilities was assisted by the importance of the by-product industry. Lard, the most valuable of the pig's many by-products, was beneficial in a wide range of domestic and industrial uses, especially with the production of candles and soap. The ascendancy of Cincinnati as the pork-packing capital had a number of wide-ranging effects on the city. It encouraged further industrialization and the expansion into multiple industries while placing a heavy environmental burden on the city as Cincinnati's many waterways were polluted with animal and industrial wastes. However, Cincinnati's dominance over the pork industry was not to last. The continued expansion of the United States and therefore the corn-hog method of agriculture encouraged the growth of packing centers elsewhere while railroads made long-distance transportation of hogs feasible, reducing the competitive advantage Cincinnati had over other cities. The Civil War closed off southern trade for Cincinnati, costing the city's pork packers their biggest client: Southern plantations. Ultimately, Chicago would take the title as the nation's largest pork-packing city, but the story of Porkopolis would remain in Cincinnati as a reminder of the city's porcine past and hopeful prospects for the future.
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    Fit or flabby: Can we simplify the body condition scoring method?
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Schafer, Elizabeth; Wenner, Benjamin
    Body condition scoring (BCS) on a 1 - 5 scale is a common method of assessing dairy cow body fat reserves, serving as a management tool to consistently identify patterns and address herd nutrition, reproduction, and health. However, the efficacy of scoring in different BCS point increments has not been well described. Our objective was to evaluate the variation in BCS based on scoring in half- (HALF) or quarter-point (QRT) increments and to evaluate the accuracy of categorically assessing cows as thin, ideal, or fat (CAT) for current lactation stage compared to assigning traditional BCS. Our hypothesis was that HALF scoring would not increase variation of managerial value. We further hypothesized that CAT score would be interpretively similar to traditional BCS. Jersey cows (n = 20) balanced by lactation stage were scored by undergraduate students (n = 14) of varying experience for 6 weeks. Prior to trial initiation, all participants received BCS training and were provided an on-farm scoring guide. Each week, participants assigned QRT, HALF, and CAT scores. Statistical analysis included a SAS mixed-model approach (fixed effects: scoring method, lactation stage, week, scorer experience; random effects: scorer, cow) with repeated week as appropriate; residuals were regressed against predicted BCS from HALF, centered to the mean. CAT method was on a 2 - 4 scale; QRT and HALF were on a 1 - 5 scale. Regression of the residuals indicated a mean bias (P < 0.01) where HALF underestimates herd BCS by 0.018 and a slope bias (P < 0.01) where HALF increased by 0.110 points compared to QRT for every whole point BCS gain observed. Scoring method influenced mean score (P < 0.01) where CAT was lower than QRT or HALF by 0.055. Also of note, novice scorers estimated cows 0.24 points lower than more experienced scorers (P < 0.01). Variance of QRT and HALF were not different (P > 0.10). These data indicate that HALF could be equally accurate as QRT, while potentially decreasing producer effort and time to score. Further work is needed to support these results on farms with different breeds and management styles and with scorers of different ages and backgrounds.
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    In-Situ Screening for Gluten-Free Flours using Vibrational Spectroscopy and Pattern Recognition Analysis
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Rich, Cameron; Rodriguez-Saona, Luis
    Exposure to gluten can have serious adverse immunological reactions occurring from ingestion of gluten-containing grains (wheat, barley, rye, and related grains) among susceptible consumers, leading to cell-mediated reactions and immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic reactions. Prolamins and glutelins have important functionality by forming viscoelastic masses when mixed and kneaded with water but have been associated with provocation of celiac disease, dermatitis herptiformis, and non-celiac gluten sensitivities. Celiac disease is estimated to affect nearly 1% of the U.S. population. Dietary guidelines recommend restricting gluten consumption, but gluten-free products may experience contamination during manufacturing or adulteration by product mislabeling, posing a threat to afflicted consumers. The United States have implemented regulations for gluten-free labeling that comply with a recommended level of 20 ppm gluten. Currently, the industry standard for quantifiable gluten detection is using commercially available ELISA kits. While the ELISA method is easily accessible, the method is very time-consuming, laborious, and expensive. Our objective was to evaluate the potential for portable spectroscopy technologies (infrared and Raman) to detect gluten contamination in gluten-free products. Infrared and Raman spectroscopy is based on the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with chemical components in a sample. Combining the fingerprinting characteristics of spectroscopy with pattern recognition analysis we can extract valuable information from complex food matrices. Samples of various gluten-free flours (oats, chickpea, sorghum, corn, rice, and buckwheat) that included several manufacturers were obtained from local groceries stores (Columbus, OH). Four different brands of oat flour samples were artificially contaminated by addition of crude wheat gluten isolate (Sigma Aldrich) to reach levels of 100, 250 and 500 ppm. Spectra of each sample were obtained using a portable FT-IR equipped with a triple reflection ATR crystal and handheld Raman system equipped with a 1064nm excitation laser. Pattern recognition techniques were used to identify unique regions associated with gluten contamination. Both technologies were able to detect the presence of gluten at threshold limit levels allowing the classification of gluten-free and the contaminated flours. The complementary nature of infrared and Raman was evidenced in the variables that have a pre- dominant effect on sample classification. Infrared revealed the importance of the band centered at 1563 cm-1 (amide II vibration mode) while Raman picked up the signal at 1320 cm-1 (amide III) for identifying gluten contamination. The method can also be used to estimate the gluten levels of gluten-free flours. This study shows that the food industry can use this technique as a fast, reproducible, and non-destructive method to combat adulteration and contamination of gluten- free products and protect the health and safety of at-risk consumers.
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    The Soil-Carbon-Water Connection: Long-Term Impacts of Tillage/Drainage on Soil Health in an Ohio Field Site
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Johnson, Conner; Lal, Rattan
    Soil tillage and drainage are important agronomic practices in Ohio and around the world, but their effects on soil physical and hydraulic properties, especially together, are not completely understood. This study examined a long-term experimental site established as a two-factor layout examining tillage vs no-till and tile drainage vs natural drainage on an aquic central Ohio soil. Water retention, infiltration, and aggregate stability were measured using standard field and lab methods. Results were compared to results for a forest site nearby, on the same soil type. The forest sites had the greatest plant- available water capacity (PAWC), while the tilled soils had the lowest, with the no-till sites in between. This relationship also held for the aggregate stability, where the forest had the more and larger aggregates, while the tilled soils had the least numerous and the smallest aggregates. Infiltration results were mixed and inconsistent with published literature, highlighting a need for more field-infiltration studies to better understand the effects of tillage and drainage on infiltration, percolation, and runoff. This study provides a theoretical basis for future research on the effects of farm management practices on soil physical and hydraulic properties, and reflect long-term changes in these properties under no-till and with different water-management strategies.
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    Use of biobehavioral responses during a novel object test to assess suitability of horses for equine assisted services
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) McNally, Julie; Cole, Kim
    Horses by nature are highly sensitive animals and quick to react to their environment. These behavioral characteristics are highly valued in the context of equine assisted services (EAS); however, their responses to unfamiliar stimuli can have important consequences for horse and human safety. To date, there are no standardized guidelines for the selection of equine used in EAS. General observation of horse behavior by equine professionals has historically been used to assess the potential suitability of equine participants but can often be challenging to objectively measure. Novel object (NO) tests are often used as a tool to measure reactivity in many species, including equine. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess biobehavioral responses of 10 Quarter Horse mares (11.6 ± 4.9 yr) during a NO test as a potential measure of their suitability for participation in groundwork-based EAS. The experiment consisted of three 5 min periods: Pre-NO test (P1), NO test (P2), and Post-NO test (P3). Heart rate (HR) was recorded using a Polar H10 Equine HR monitor. Behavior was video recorded and scan sampling of video footage every 10 sec was used to determine counts. Data were analyzed using PROC MIXED in SAS v 9.4. Horse HR decreased with time within all three periods (p < 0.01). During the NO test, locomotion increased with increasing proximity to the NO (p < 0.05). Standing alert and exploratory behaviors decreased during the NO test but were not influenced by the horse's location (p < 0.03). Interestingly, eating behaviors increased during and after the NO test compared to the pre-NO test period (p < 0.01). This study illustrates that behavioral and physiological responses of horses are influenced by their individuality and environment which may ultimately influence their interactions during EAS. The reduction in HR over time within each period suggests that the horses utilized in this study quickly acclimate to changes in their environment. Future studies with different horse populations are recommended to further evaluate the response to NO tests as method to assess suitability of horses for EAS.
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    Rural Ohio School Emergency Meal Distribution Plans in Response to COVID-19
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Milliron, Hayley; Bowling, Amanda
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, rural schools in Ohio were not prepared to face the issue of food insecurity of students within their districts. The purpose of this descriptive research study was to assess rural Ohio schools' COVID-19 pandemic response in relation to emergency meal distribution and understand SES status of families in rural Ohio. A Qualtrics questionnaire of closed- and open-ended questions addressed the research objectives surrounding the following areas; (1) describe school meals provided pre-COVID and post-COVID, (2) describe schools emergency meal distribution plan, and (3) describe the average SES status of family household level. To answer the research questions, we collected and analyzed data surrounding self-reported measures of meals provided by schools, how often they were provided and the average income of families in rural Ohio by administrators (n = 15). Participates reported an increase in meals provided (n = 13) after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to before March 2020 (n = 11). Meal delivery methods varied among participants from meal pick up at school (n = 4) or community building (n = 1) to delivery to students' homes (n = 1) to both pick and delivery options (n = 2). Most schools reported an SES status of the middle class or lower among families within their school district. Findings suggest that schools during the COVID-19 pandemic increased the frequency of meals provided as compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. After the end of the 2020 school year, the frequency of meals decreased compared to the emergency response between March 2020 and the end of summer 2020. Furthermore, many of the schools increased the types of meals distributed (breakfast, lunch, and snacks) frequency of distribution, and methods of distribution to families. Recommendations for rural Ohio schools include evaluating their current emergency food distribution system and consulting experts to prepare for future emergencies. Recommendations for future research include qualitative methods to explore why the school chose specific meal distribution methods. Lastly, future research should explore the status of meal distribution plans of schools in rural Ohio to prepare proactively rather than reactively.
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    Self-Regulated Learning Strategies in an Online Introductory Animal Sciences Course
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) McGoey, Elena; Lyvers Peffer, Pasha
    Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a cyclical and metacognitive process correlated to increased student success wherein a student plans for a task, monitors performance, and reflects on outcomes. Student use of course learning management system (LMS) features is indicative of student behaviors and SRL, which may predict course outcomes. This study analyzed student LMS access data of an asynchronous, online course (Introductory Animal Sciences) from 2019 to 2021. Page views, participations, assignment due date and relative submission, and grade data were retrieved from the LMS and de-identified. Data were compared between COVID-19 impacted terms and pre-COVID terms. Findings suggest that performance outcomes were influenced by relative assignment submission and COVID-19. Specifically, students who submitted assignments in advance of the assignment deadline showed greater overall course performance. COVID-19 negatively affected distribution of performance levels and average performance measures for individual assignment grades and overall course grades. The mean number of page views for the time periods leading up to exams were greater for students who showed exemplary performance (a score of 90% or greater) on the corresponding exam. Students with exemplary performance also had significantly greater mean total page views, resources page views, and crossword page views compared to students in the lowest performance levels. The strongest correlations were observed between exam performance and overall course grade (r = .72 to .80). Page views and optional study resources showed significant (p < .05) but weak correlation to exam and overall course grade. Students utilizing LMS features to promote SRL may plan to submit assignments in advance of the due date, review course material more frequently, and utilize optional study resources.
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    Application of Reptilian Adult Neurogenesis in Mammalian Brains
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Folwell, Amanda; Bohrer, Benjamin
    Adult neurogenesis, which is the development of new neurons in the brain, is a process that is only rarely seen in adult mammals but is commonly seen in a variety of adult reptiles typically after an injury. Reptiles and mammals have similar brains with several homologous areas, so the study of reptilian adult neurogenesis could lead to the discovery of mammalian adult neurogenesis, particularly in the cortex and other telencephalic divisions. Due to the many documented cases of reptilian adult neurogenesis, a thorough review of the literature is necessary to design a study that would involve the use of reptilian models to identify any gene(s) causing adult neurogenesis to occur and then identifying a homologous adaptation in mammalian models. From there, studying that adaptation to see what might turn on adult neurogenesis in mammals. Finally, this information could help develop new treatments for illnesses and injuries that would cause the loss of functioning brain tissue in mammals, such as Alzheimer's disease and rabies.
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    Exploring Research Outreach and Engagement in Departments of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Okuley, Lindsey; Bowling, Amanda
    The need to address grand challenges is at the forefront of most universities research initiatives and drives many funding requests. Grand challenges present as complex problems, which must be approached from multiple expertise areas using multiple methodologies. As such, interdisciplinary research approaches and teams are encouraged to address them. Social scientists are often added to bench science teams to develop, administer, and evaluate extension or educational outreach components due to their expertise in these areas. But how do these faculty members and departments advertise their expertise to other faculty within their college, university, and beyond? The study is constructed on a conceptual framework of interdisciplinarity and organizational communication. Knowledge creation is increasingly multi- or interdisciplinary, and research institutions may create environments to encourage interdisciplinary team building and share that information via various organizational channels. Specifically, websites are a useful tool for interdisciplinary organizations to share information with the public and stakeholders. We analyzed departmental websites related to the social science fields of agricultural communication, education, extension, and leadership to determine how faculty expertise was advertised. The sample for this study was university websites of departments that had at least two of the following programs: agricultural communication, agricultural education, agricultural leadership, and extension education at land-grant, tier-one research institutions, which resulted in 21 departments. After identifying the sample, a website content analysis was conducted to understand how these universities showcase their faculty's research. Preliminary results indicate that most department websites require multiple clicks to reach faculty expertise. Most websites analyzed contain a research tab in the website navigation to direct audiences to faculty research. While all department websites included faculty research descriptions on inner pages for each faculty member, some included this information on a research-specific page. Many websites included a current page showcasing active projects and grants in the department.
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    Isolation of antimicrobial-producing bacteria from artisanal cheeses and characterization of potentially novel antimicrobial agents produced
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Gephart, Gabriella; Yousef, Ahmed
    Synthetic preservatives are traditionally used in food processing to enhance the safety and quality of a product. Recently, consumers have been demanding natural alternatives to these synthetic preservatives. Few bacteria produce antimicrobial peptides that can be used as food preservatives. This study aimed to isolate beneficial antimicrobial-producing bacteria from artisanal cheeses, with the long-term goal of characterizing promising antimicrobial agents produced by these bacteria. Screening for antimicrobial activity was done using a bioassay via a cellulose grid; this was followed by a quantitative bioassay using a microdilution approach. Isolates identities were determined using 16S rRNA sequencing and whole genome sequencing was used to evaluate genomes for biosynthetic gene clusters associated with antimicrobial production. Eight isolates were found to have strong antimicrobial activity on the bioassays, and biosynthetic gene clusters associated with antimicrobial production were found within their genomes. These clusters could be encoding for potentially novel antimicrobial peptides. These strains should continue to be studied to confirm novelty and determine structure and use of their peptides in food.