Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Food Science

First Advisor

Bruce R Hamaker

Committee Member 1

Brad L Reuhs

Committee Member 2

John A Patterson

Committee Member 3

Eric C Martens


Intake of dietary fiber is considered an essential strategy to influence gut microbiota, which is associated with many diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel diseases. In order to make a better choice of dietary fiber for a desired microbiota shift related to a health outcome, knowledge of fiber degradation and utilization by gut bacteria is critical. However, it is still unclear how specific dietary fiber structures may influence the growth of target bacteria.