Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. George E. Pierce

Second Advisor

Dr. Sidney A. Crow

Third Advisor

Dr. Eric S. Gilbert


Rhodococcus rhodochrous DAP 96253, a well-known industrial bacterium, had various 1-hexene monooxygenase (1-HMO) activities when grown on YEMEA plates supplemented with eight different carbohydrates. Besides, 1-HMO exhibited different storage temperature preferences. Lactose could induce the highest 1-HMO activity in R. rhodochrous DAP 96253 while the cells showed the lowest 1-HMO activity when trehalose was the supplement. The 1-HMO activity of R. rhodochrous DAP 96253 was not maintained when stored at 37°C as well as at 4°C and 25°C. Trehalose-induced 1-HMO activity of R. rhodochrous DAP 96253 was more stable from Day 0 to Day 21 at all these three temperatures, compared with the other seven carbohydrates.

Immobilization of enzymes can maintain enzyme activity longer, offer easier enzyme storage conditions and make some enzymes reusable, much research has been done in this area. In this study, R. rhodochrous DAP 96253, grown on YEMEA plates supplemented by glucose and urea, was investigated using whole bananas as the inducer of 1-HMO activity and different immobilization methods to maintain this enzyme activity. It was shown that calcium-alginate polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) beads could maintain 1-HMO activity of R. rhodochrous DAP 96253 more stable than calcium-alginate beads. Whole bananas exhibited very obvious effects of inducing 1-HMO activity of R. rhodochrous DAP 96253.

A number of recent studies have clearly demonstrated that induced cells of R. rhodochrous DAP 96253 can prolong the shelf-life of post-harvested fruits. With USDA estimates of 40% of all harvested produce in the US not being consumed because of loss of quality, the ability to extend the period of ripeness of produce has great potential to improve the quality of nutrition. Modification or degradation of those signals (primary and secondary) associated with ripening in fruit or the perception of those signals represents a potential mode of action for delayed ripening by induced cells of R. rhodochrous DAP 96253. Ethylene and cyanide are the two primary signals in ripening. In this study, the role of 1-HMO from induced cells was investigated by time-course experiments focusing on 1-HMO activity and stability. In addition, fruit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected and compared by GC-FID and GC/MS over the course of fruit ripening. The results show a correlation between 1-HMO activity and stability in delayed fruit ripening. It was further demonstrated that the presence of secondary signal fruit VOCs enhanced 1-HMO activity. Aromatic profiles of treated fruits, by GC-FID and GC/MS, show a consistent picture of VOCs associated with earlier fruit ripening stages.

Available for download on Saturday, July 28, 2018