Jake Edward Thomas



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Introduction. Listeria monocytogenes is a common food borne pathogen that can be fatal to those who with compromised immune systems. To combat food borne pathogens, short chain fatty acids are added as food to preservatives. Purpose. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effects of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Specifically, this research looked at the impact of varying amounts of acetate, butyrate, and propionate on the ability of Listeria to grow in a biofilm, both aerobically and anaerobically, in polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) in microwell plates. Results. Under anaerobic, but not aerobic, conditions, Listeria planktonic growth increased when SCFAs were added in the culture medium. However, I did not detect consistent results when Listeria was growing in the microwell plates. Conclusion. As indicated by these results, Listeria monocytogenes planktonic growth can be increased when grown anaerobically with SCFAs. However, future research is necessary to assess the effects of SCFAs on biofilm growth.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Yvonne Y. Sun

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

The Effects of Short Chain Fatty Acids on the Ability of Listeria monocytogenes to Form Biofilm