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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Prasanta C. Bhowmik

Second Advisor

Kalidas Shetty

Third Advisor

Duane Greene

Subject Categories



Berries, specifically, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, are considered an integral part of a healthy plant-based diet. Berries contain high levels of phenolic compounds, which contribute to the health benefits of berry consumption. Many phenolic compounds exhibit high levels of antioxidant activity and other health related benefits, including anti- microbial, anti-inflammatory and cardio-vascular related functional capabilities. Strawberry and raspberry fruit were screened and evaluated for potential in dietary management of type 2 diabetes and related hypertension using in vitro assay models. There were differences between cultivars within each crop related to antioxidant activity. Inhibition of α- amylase, α-glucosidase, and ACE-1 differed significantly between crops and between cultivars within each crop. Phenolic content of berry crops varies with fruit development. Although overall phenolic content may not change significantly, the phenolic profile of fruit changes developmentally from green to ripe. These differences in phenolic content and/or profile can result in different bioactive potentials relevant to type 2 diabetes and hypertension management. Blueberry fruit at successive stages of development were investigated and screened for potential relevance in diabetes and hypertension management. Ripe blueberry had better potential for α- amylase and α- glucosidase inhibition, than green or pink fruit. Through consumption of berry fruits, phenolic compounds provide human health benefits. Likewise, phenolic compounds present in fruit and leaves of berry plants are crucial to the overall health of plants themselves. Plants have a complex of protective metabolic responses that can be triggered by various types of biotic or abiotic stress. Elicitors are compounds that stimulate plant stress response via secondary metabolic pathways. Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) is a water soluble derivative of chitin. Elicitation by chitosan has potential to improve plant growth by countering the negative effects of plant stress through stimulation of plant protective responses. COS was evaluated as an elicitor of the plant protective response in field transplanted blackberry plugs as they transitioned from late summer field conditions through early autumn. Results indicate COS may have potential to improve adaptation of blackberry plug plants during summer transplanting and seasonal transition into autumn.


Included in

Horticulture Commons