Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

Yufeng Zhang

Committee Member

Emerson K Bowers

Committee Member

Chidambaram Ramanathan


Carotenoid coloration is among the most widely recognized condition-dependent signal of quality in animals. This project first explored the possibility of establishing an in-vitro model to study carotenoid ketolation in two avian species, where both species use red keto-carotenoids for plumage pigmentation. Secondly, this project tested whether the carotenoid ketolation pathway would be affected by antioxidant and mitochondrial uncoupler treatments. We observed that most carotenoid ketolation could happen in in-vitro settings using primary hepatocytes for both House Finch and Domestic Canary. However, interestingly, the in-vitro system using House Finch hepatocytes failed to convert β-cryptoxanthin to 3-HE. Then, we tested the resources tradeoff hypothesis and shared pathway hypothesis using our newly established in vitro model. We have shown that antioxidant treatments, regardless of general antioxidant or mitochondria-targeted antioxidant did not change the carotenoids conversion. However, mitochondrial uncoupler, which decreases mitochondrial membrane potential, disrupted the carotenoid ketolation processes in the hepatocytes of a House Finch.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access