Stockbridge Faculty Publication Series

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 47
  • Publication
    An Overview of Plant Phenolic Compounds and Their Importance in Human Nutrition and Management of Type 2 Diabetes
    (2016-01-01) Lin, Derong; Xiao, Mengshi; Zhao, Jingjing; Li, Zhuohao; Xing, Baoshan; Li, Xindan; King, Maozhu; Li, Liangyu; Zhang, Qing; Liu, Yaowen; Chen, Hong; Qin, Wen; Wu, Hejun; Chen, Saiyan
    In this paper, the biosynthesis process of phenolic compounds in plants is summarized, which includes the shikimate, pentose phosphate and phenylpropanoid pathways. Plant phenolic compounds can act as antioxidants, structural polymers (lignin), attractants (flavonoids and carotenoids), UV screens (flavonoids), signal compounds (salicylic acid and flavonoids) and defense response chemicals (tannins and phytoalexins). From a human physiological standpoint, phenolic compounds are vital in defense responses, such as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities. Therefore, it is beneficial to eat such plant foods that have a high antioxidant compound content, which will cut down the incidence of certain chronic diseases, for instance diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases, through the management of oxidative stress. Furthermore, berries and other fruits with low-amylase and high-glucosidase inhibitory activities could be regarded as candidate food items in the control of the early stages of hyperglycemia associated with type 2 diabetes.
  • Publication
    Preparation and Application of Starch/Polyvinyl Alcohol/Citric Acid Ternary Blend Antimicrobial Functional Food Packaging Films
    (2017-01-01) Wu, Zhijun; Wu, Jingjing; Peng, Tingting; Li, Yutong; Lin, Derong; Xing, Baoshan; Li, Chunxiao; Yang, Yuqiu; Yang, Li; Zhang, Lihua; Ma, Rongchao; Wu, Weixiong; Lv, Xiaorong; Dai, Jianwu; Han, Guoquan
    Ternary blend films were prepared with different ratios of starch/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/citric acid. The films were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), thermogravimetric analysis, as well as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis. The influence of different ratios of starch/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/citric acid and different drying times on the performance properties, transparency, tensile strength (TS), water vapor permeability (WVP), water solubility (WS), color difference (ΔE), and antimicrobial activity of the ternary blends films were investigated. The starch/polyvinyl alcohol/citric acid (S/P/C1:1:0, S/P/C3:1:0.08, and S/P/C3:3:0.08) films were all highly transparent. The S/P/C3:3:0.08 had a 54.31 times water-holding capacity of its own weight and its mechanical tensile strength was 46.45 MPa. In addition, its surface had good uniformity and compactness. The S/P/C3:1:0.08 and S/P/C3:3:0.08 showed strong antimicrobial activity to Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli, which were the food-borne pathogenic bacteria used. The freshness test results of fresh figs showed that all of the blends prevented the formation of condensed water on the surface of the film, and the S/P/C3:1:0.08 and S/P/C3:3:0.08 prevented the deterioration of figs during storage. The films can be used as an active food packaging system due to their strong antibacterial effect.
  • Publication
    The Ability of Soil Pore Network Metrics to Predict Redox Dynamics Is Scale Dependent
    (2018-01-01) Wanzek, Thomas; Keiluweit, Marco; Varga, Tamas; Lindsley, Adam; Nico, Peter S.; Fendorf, Scott; Kleber, Markus
    Variations in microbial community structure and metabolic efficiency are governed in part by oxygen availability, which is a function of water content, diffusion distance, and oxygen demand; for this reason, the volume, connectivity, and geometry of soil pores may exert primary controls on spatial metabolic diversity in soil. Here, we combine quantitative pore network metrics derived from X-ray computed tomography (XCT) with measurements of electromotive potentials to assess how the metabolic status of soil depends on variations of the overall pore network architecture. Contrasting pore network architectures were generated using a Mollisol—A horizon, and compared to intact control samples from the same soil. Mesocosms from each structural treatment were instrumented with Pt-electrodes to record available energy dynamics during a regimen of varying moisture conditions. We found that volume-based XCT-metrics were more frequently correlated with metrics describing changes in available energy than medial-axis XCT-metrics. An abundance of significant correlations between pore network metrics and available energy parameters was not only a function of pore architecture, but also of the dimensions of the sub-sample chosen for XCT analysis. Pore network metrics had the greatest power to statistically explain changes in available energy in the smallest volumes analyzed. Our work underscores the importance of scale in observations of natural systems.
  • Publication
    Shifting mineral and redox controls on carbon cycling in seasonally flooded mineral soils
    (2019-01-01) LaCroix, Rachelle E.; Tfaily, Malak K.; McCreight, Menli; Jones, Morris E.; Spokas, Lesley; Keiluweit, Marco
    Although wetland soils represent a relatively small portion of the terrestrial landscape, they account for an estimated 20 %–30 % of the global soil carbon (C) reservoir. C stored in wetland soils that experience seasonal flooding is likely the most vulnerable to increased severity and duration of droughts in response to climate change. Redox conditions, plant root dynamics, and the abundance of protective mineral phases are well-established controls on soil C persistence, but their relative influence in seasonally flooded mineral soils is largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we assessed the relative importance of environmental (temperature, soil moisture, and redox potential) and biogeochemical (mineral composition and root biomass) factors in controlling CO2 efflux, C quantity, and organic matter composition along replicated upland–lowland transitions in seasonally flooded mineral soils. Specifically, we contrasted mineral soils under temperature deciduous forests in lowland positions that undergo seasonal flooding with adjacent upland soils that do not, considering both surface (A) and subsurface (B and C) horizons. We found the lowland soils had lower total annual CO2 efflux than the upland soils, with monthly CO2 efflux in lowlands most strongly correlated with redox potential (Eh). Lower CO2 efflux as compared to the uplands corresponded to greater C content and abundance of lignin-rich, higher-molecular-weight, chemically reduced organic compounds in the lowland surface soils (A horizons). In contrast, subsurface soils in the lowland position (Cg horizons) showed lower C content than the upland positions (C horizons), coinciding with lower abundance of root biomass and oxalate-extractable Fe (Feo, a proxy for protective Fe phases). Our linear mixed-effects model showed that Feo served as the strongest measured predictor of C content in upland soils, yet Feo had no predictive power in lowland soils. Instead, our model showed that Eh and oxalate-extractable Al (Alo, a proxy of protective Al phases) became significantly stronger predictors in the lowland soils. Combined, our results suggest that low redox potentials are the primary cause for C accumulation in seasonally flooded surface soils, likely due to selective preservation of organic compounds under anaerobic conditions. In seasonally flooded subsurface soils, however, C accumulation is limited due to lower C inputs through root biomass and the removal of reactive Fe phases under reducing conditions. Our findings demonstrate that C accrual in seasonally flooded mineral soil is primarily due to low redox potential in the surface soil and that the lack of protective metal phases leaves these C stocks highly vulnerable to climate change.
  • Publication
    A multi-omics approach to unravelling the coupling mechanism of nitrogen metabolism and phenanthrene biodegradation in soil amended with biochar
    (2024-01-01) Xing, Baoshan
    The presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil negatively affects the environment and the degradation of these contaminants is influenced by nitrogen metabolism. However, the mechanisms underlying the interrelationships between the functional genes involved in nitrogen metabolism and phenanthrene (PHE) biodegradation, as well as the effects of biochar on these mechanisms, require further study. Therefore, this study utilised metabolomic and metagenomic analysis to investigate primary nitrogen processes, associated functional soil enzymes and functional genes, and differential soil metabolites in PHE-contaminated soil with and without biochar amendment over a 45-day incubation period. Results showed that dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and denitrification were the dominant nitrogen metabolism processes in PHE-contaminated soil. The addition of biochar enhanced nitrogen modules, exhibiting discernible temporal fluctuations in denitrification and DNRA proportions. Co-occurrence networks and correlation heatmap analysis revealed potential interactions among functional genes and enzymes responsible for PHE biodegradation and nitrogen metabolism. Notably, enzymes associated with denitrification and DNRA displayed significant positive correlation with enzymes involved in downstream phenanthrene degradation. Of particular interest was stronger correlation observed with the addition of biochar. However, biochar amendment inhibited the 9-phenanthrol degradation pathway, resulting in elevated levels of glutathione (GSH) in response to environmental stress. These findings provide new insights into the interactions between nitrogen metabolism and PHE biodegradation in soil and highlight the dual effects of biochar on these processes.