Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science

First Advisor

Andrea Liceaga

Committee Member 1

Raymond D. Martyn

Committee Member 2

Bruce M. Applegate


Silver carp are an invasive fish species introduced into the United States within the last forty years. Unable to be effectively eradicated or commercialized as a source of food, other methods must be developed to control and/or use these fish. Fish protein hydrolysates (FPH) are products derived from the proteins inherent within fish. Development of FPH from Silver carp for a variety of uses could aid in controlling their expanding population and provide organic produces with a seed treatment option which is not available to them currently.

In the first study, FPH were used as a seed vigor treatment for soybeans and watermelon seeds. Seedlings were treated with FPH hydrolyzed for 1, 5.5 and 10 hours with papain (FPH-Pa), pepsin (FPH-P) and trypsin (FPH-T), respectively. Overall vigour tests (accelerated aging and warm and cold germination dry weight, height, total phenolics and guaiacol peroxidase assessment) were compared to a distilled-water control over a 12-day germination period. Soybean seeds treated with FPH-P and FPH-Pa at 1 hour elicited the greatest growth responses with increased total percent germination, and higher seedling weights and lengths. GuPx values were also higher in FPH treated soybeans. Results suggest that FPH is beneficial to the stimulation of the proline-linked pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) in soybeans, enhancing vigor parameters measured. In watermelon seedlings, FPH treatments increased all parameters with the exception of total phenolic content as compared to water controls, indicating the PPP was not stimulated. The amino acids TRP, MET, PRO, TYR, THR, VAL, LYS and ASP appear to stimulate growth.