Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sidney Crow Jr. - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Kuk-Jeong Chen

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Simmons

Fourth Advisor

Dr. George Pierce


The development of a proanthocyanidin (PAC) treatment, along with the understanding of its mechanism of action, would provide an alternative method of preventing attachment to and colonization of surfaces by microorganisms, as well as potentially disrupting preexisting biofilms. The purpose of this research is to examine the role a cranberry proanthocyanidin plays in the primary attachment of Bacillus cereus to an abiotic surface. This technology could be employed in food processing plants where a premium is placed on maintaining a sanitized work environment to prevent product contamination. A biofilm assay showed that a surface treated with proanthocyanidins actually promoted rather than prevented the attachment of Bacillus cereus. This was further made evident by the fact that the surface hydrophobicities of B. cereus cells grown in media supplemented with proanthocyanidins were greater than those grown in its absence. In addition, light microscopy analysis showed a greater degree of sporulation of B. cereus cells when grown on TSA plates supplemented with PACs. These results suggest that proanthocyanidins may be inducing endospore formation in Bacillus cereus leading to increased attachment and surface hydrophobicity values.

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