Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Steven Pernecky, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Ruth Ann Armitage, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deborah Heyl- Clegg, Ph.D.


Colonic bacterial degradation of starch and other carbon sources produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as butyrate and lactate, which are important in human health and disease. Analysis of the results of mono- and co-cultures in in vitro systems has led to the conclusion that diverse microbial organisms may each contribute in part to the complete metabolism to produce SCFA. GC- MS and DART- MS were investigated as analytical tools in the present study to evaluate the production of butyrate and lactate in a test tube and bioreactor mono- and co-cultures. The overall research goal is to investigate biological model systems and analytical methods to allow determination of lactate and butyrate levels under conditions that effectively emulate those that prevail in the gastrointestinal tract. These approaches will provide some understanding of the extent to which organisms work together to generate important biomolecules, in particular, the short-chain fatty acids.

Included in

Chemistry Commons