Abstracts 2007

08-1-002      Jimenez-Flores, Rafael

Proteomic Approach to Study Milk Fat Globule Membrane Proteins as Biologically Active Compounds

The potential of genomic discovery and proteomic analysis for research in the food industry has been recognized in nutrition and health related issues. For example there are ongoing studies using proteomic approaches for digestive health, obesity, diabetes, food allergy and immunity based on data first discovered by genomic research.  Optimal nutrition and immune competence is a prerequisite for the best possible performance.  Recent studies have documented health advantages of bovine milk and its components on muscle protein synthesis and disease protection.  Some of these beneficial physiological effects have been attributed to milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) as well as its individual components.  The current view is that the interaction between all the MFGM components, the proteins, glycoproteins, phospholipids and glycolipids, play an important role in defining their biological activity.  Recent work on the genomic analysis of the bovine milk protein genes indicates that many genes with potential benefit for human health are present in milk, and in particular in the MFGM.  Therefore, joining genomic discovery with proteomic analysis generates a powerful research tool for discovering and using the components with health benefits in milk.  Based on this concept and using proteomic technology we are now able to address: (1) protein identity and organization within the MFGM structure and the effect of pasteurization and/or fermentation; (2) correlation between structure and biological function of these proteins and lipids in the milk; and (3) comprehensively examine multiple specialized functions associated with benefit to human health.  In addition to their nutritional value, MFGM proteins have important protective functions against bacteria, viruses and protozoa through direct (antimicrobial) and indirect (immune-regulatory) mechanisms, which should be measurable through development of the work to be developed.  We propose to use the genetic information generated at UC Davis with Cal Poly proteomics technology, to study a valuable fraction of milk and its biological and health related action.  In this work we propose to initiate studies that will give us realistic and accurate information on the importance of processing (physical, thermal, and fermentation) on the biological activity and human health enhancing function of the MFGM proteins and other components.



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08-3-002      Berner, Louise

Characterization of Protein Intakes Among Older Adults in the US:  Quantity, Meal Patterns, Food Sources, Predictors of Adequacy, and Relationship to Anthropometric & Physical Functioning Measures

The purpose of this proposed research is to characterize protein intakes in adults in the US, with emphasis on older adults, and secondarily to look at associations of protein intakes with anthropometric and physical functioning measures.  The data source will be the most-recently available National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which examines a nationally-representative sample of 5,000 people each year.  Detailed interviews and exams provide demographic data, socioeconomic data, detailed dietary intake data, answers to health-related questions, results of medical and dental exams, physiological measurements, and lab test results.  Data from the NHANES are made available to researchers in two-year releases. 

There is a growing body of evidence from small clinical studies relating adequate protein intakes to better muscle mass and function in older adults, and to other positive health outcomes.  However, there is less information on protein intakes of typical older, community-dwelling adults – how much they eat, what foods are the primary contributors, and so on.  There is some evidence from small studies that protein intakes are inadequate for some older adults, and also that current protein intake recommendations may be insufficient for maximizing health.  A major focus of this research is to investigate the importance of dairy and other animal foods to protein intakes in a nationally-representative sample of older adults.  We expect that animal foods will be a key component of meeting appropriate protein intakes in older adults, especially when overall food (and energy) intake is limited.  At the same time, we will examine relationships between protein intake (and food protein sources) and select measures of body composition and physical functioning in the same nationally-representative sample. 

Results of the proposed research may indicate need for modification of emphasis in dietary guidance for elderly Americans, because at present there is little emphasis on protein intake and on choosing protein-rich animal foods.  The potential benefit can extend both to public health and to interested agricultural production and food processing organizations.



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08-3-004      Burt, Charles

GIS-Based Water Routing/Scheduling Through Irrigation District Canal Systems

There is fierce competition among agriculture, cities, industry, and the environment for limited water resources.  Moving irrigation water through irrigation district canals quickly and efficiently, and in a flexible and responsive manner to farmer requirements, remains a challenge.  In particular, virtually all of the irrigation districts with canals route (determine availability of capacity) and schedule (decide when to move which canal gates) deliveries manually using long-term experience of employees.  As a result, deliveries can only be made in most cases on 24-hour increments, and the whole process lies in the heads of a few individuals.  This research will develop a new methodology, and test that methodology, for a process of using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to characterize individual irrigation canal segments by capacity and travel times, link all of the segments in a system, and determine the feasibility of delivering water in a very flexible manner with frequently updated schedules.  This has not been done before.



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08-3-006      Dicus, Christopher

Impacts To Fire Hazard And Societal Values After Common Fuel Treatments in the Wildland-Urban Interface

Paradoxically, vegetation is both an asset and a liability to residents living in the wildland-urban interface.  The same vegetation that provides both tangible and intangible benefits to society is regularly prone to burn with great intensity and destruction.   Therefore, great emphasis is regularly given to vegetation clearance to reduce wildfire risk.  However, while fuel reduction treatments may moderate fire risk to residents living in the wildland-urban interface, they will simultaneously impact societal benefits such as air pollution removal and home energy savings that vegetation provides. 

To investigate this seeming quandary, the proposed research will quantify potential fire behavior (fireline intensity, rate of spread, etc.) versus multiple societal benefits (air pollution removal, energy savings, carbon sequestration, etc.) that vegetation provides in treated and untreated brush- and forest-dominated wildland-urban interface communities.  The UFORE (Urban Forest Effects) model will be used to assess societal benefits while various fire behavior prediction systems, including FARSITE, Nexus, and the Fire & Fuels Extension of the Forest Vegetation Simulator, will be utilized to assess potential fire behavior during average and extreme weather conditions.  The results of this research will benefit land managers and community planners in developing the best strategy for managing vegetation in California’s wildland-urban interface that minimizes fire risk while simultaneously maximizing the multiple economic and societal benefits that vegetation provides.



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08-3-007      Dietterick, Brian

Accuracy of Derived Watershed and Channel Features in Forested Mountain Conditions Using LIDAR Terrain Data

LIDAR technology continues to improve as a tool for resource management evaluations, yet questions remain regarding specific applications.  This study will answer questions surrounding the ability of the current level of the technology to provide accurate data for delineating and evaluating watershed and channel features in a forested environment.  Roads and remnant legacy road networks have an impact on hillslopes and channel systems.  Channels are often adversely affected by road systems and other land management activities.  Identifying issues or problems with roads or channels is often very difficult and costly, particularly in a forested environment.  LIDAR technology offers potential solutions to evaluate theses features remotely and in a more cost-effective manner.  This study makes the necessary comparisons between ground-surveyed features and those same features derived from the LIDAR data.  A significant outcome will be able to definitively know whether the technology is now capable in being a resource assessment solution.  Statistical evidence will answer the level of detail that roads and channels can accurately be identified for the purposes of evaluating current condition and future change in this very challenging environment.  The study has the benefit of having gathered LIDAR data in 2002 when the level of technology was less advanced.  This data allows for a quantitative evaluation of the improvements made possible by the current level of the technology.  A significant economic impact will be gained by resource agencies and private industry through the understanding of the abilities and limitations of LIDAR.  This is truly an impressive technology and this study will achieve the level of validation necessary to understand specific applications of LIDAR terrain data in a forested setting.  The strength of the study is in the level of control exercised in collecting the ground-based road and channel data.  This forms the basis upon which the LIDAR comparisons are to be made.  The study will provide valuable information that will answer many of the remaining questions regarding the promise that LIDAR technology holds for resource planning assessment.



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08-3-013      Headrick, David

Biological Control for Citrus Leafminer in coastal California

Citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistus citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), is a small moth that arrived into California by way of Mexico in 2000 and now infests all of southern and central California.  This species poses to be a significant pest for the citrus nursery industry, new plantings in commercial production settings, and for certain varieties such as lemons.  There are very few insecticides that are known to be effective in either nursery or field settings.  The leafminer is already acquiring native natural enemies here in California, as was expected based on the experiences in other areas around the world where it previously invaded.  These natural enemies will help in mitigating the effects of this pest on citrus.  However, new evidence from the 2006 growing season suggests that the eventual severity of this pest in California will vary by region.  The collective hope of the citrus industry is that this pest can eventually be managed with biological and cultural controls, and the limited use of selective pesticides.  The objectives of the project include using established methods to document the unfolding invasion of citrus leafminer in California and determine its lifecycle and feeding impact on citrus production.  These data will be used to help coordinate management tactics that are under development in other collaborative research projects.  Further, we will document the accession of natural enemies of citrus leafminer in California, positioning our project as the state’s primary center for the collection, processing and identification of all natural enemies found attacking citrus leafminer.  All of our findings, as well as those from other collaborative projects, will be developed and delivered to growers by way of workshops and seminars.



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08-3-014      Hendricks, William

Mt. San Jacinto State Park Visitor Use Impact Study

The Mount San Jacinto State Park General Plan recommends an assessment of the current trail system within the park based upon capacity objectives and visitor experiences.  The purpose of this study is to provide an understanding of visitor use impacts and recommendations of a social carrying capacity for Mt. San Jacinto State Park.  The research will assist in estimating a carrying capacity limit for the Backcountry and the Long Valley Meadow Zone within the park.  The survey procedures will include visitor contacts at selected points within the park on four randomly selected weekends from June – September 2007.  Visitor contacts will include an on-site survey instrument and entry of responses using a Palm Pilot and a GPS unit to record visitor locations and distribution patterns.  The results of the study should assist managers in developing visitor management plans, setting policy and implementing management actions and strategies.  The research should also serve as a model for other state parks in their efforts to determine social carrying capacities and to assess visitor use impacts.



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08-3-015      Hendricks, William

California Statewide Opinions and Attitudes Survey on Outdoor Recreation

As a component of the California Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, a public opinion and attitudes survey regarding outdoor recreation in California is conducted every five years.  This plan is used by state and local public agencies in decision-making regarding the development and acquisition of recreation facilities in the state.  Faculty in the Cal Poly Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration program has been awarded a contract to conduct the study for the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  This proposed research will conduct and extend the 2007 attitudes and opinions survey to include the development of a youth survey following youth focus groups and the examination of the relationship between health and outdoor recreation among Californians.  The study will entail a telephone survey and a mail back survey for adults.  In addition a separate survey will be conducted with youth ages 12-17.  The findings will be analyzed and presented as an element of the California Outdoor Recreation Plan.  The resulting publication will be distributed to every federal, state, municipal, and special district recreation provider in the State.  Resource allocation, facility development and resource acquisition decisions will be made based on the results of this study.



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08-3-016      Humphrey, Brooke

Optimal Nutrition for Immunocompetence in Chickens

The immune system requires nutrients at the appropriate times and amounts to ensure proper development and function.  Consequently, nutrient utilization by the immune system is a major determinant in the promotion of animal health and disease resistance.  However, our understanding of nutrient utilization by the immune system, particularly the utilization of nutrients of known importance to immune cells, is poorly understood.  Arginine is an important nutrient for the immune system since this amino acid is utilized by immune cells to promote pathogen killing and clearance.  Currently, poultry nutritionists formulate diets to contain levels of arginine that maximize the utilization of this amino acid for growth, yet it is not known if this same dietary level promotes optimal utilization of arginine for immunity.  The objective of this ARI proposal, therefore, is to determine the dietary arginine concentration that is optimal for the immune system.  To this end, we will determine the effect of dietary arginine on the utilization of this essential amino acid by measuring arginine transporters and metabolic enzymes in different populations of immune cells.  Additionally, we will determine the dietary arginine concentration that optimizes immune cell function.  Results from these studies will advance our ability to better formulate poultry diets that optimize poultry health.  Given the continued banning of antimicrobials for use as growth promoters in poultry feed and the rising threat of Avian Influenza and other disease outbreaks, increasing our understanding of how to properly feed the immune system is vital for the continued growth and prosperity of the California poultry industry.



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08-3-017      Hurley, Sean

Analysis and Development of Transportation Models for Moving Agricultural Waste Products to Resource Recovery Facilities

This research develops a transportation cost model that incorporates geo-spatial data to help more accurately estimate costs for transporting agricultural waste to a chosen resource recovery facility.  A resource recovery facility is defined as any business that accepts a perceived waste product and transforms or utilizes it to create a new or transformed usable resource that has value.  The primary benefit that comes from developing this model is that scenarios can be examined to see whether resource recovery facilities can be viable given the costs of transportation.  This model could also be used for assisting in finding the most economically viable locations to put a resource recovery facility. 

The results from this research can significantly benefit many stakeholders in agriculture including producers, policy makers, operators of resource recovery facilities, and food processors.  The largest benefactors to this study will be the dairy and strawberry industries because the model developed from this research will be built around these two industries.  Currently, both groups are facing their own unique challenges of managing and recycling waste, but lack the necessary information on transportation costs to know whether recycling is economically viable.

The model for this study will be built with the overarching goal of flexibility; hence, many other industries should find this research valuable and the transportation model applicable to their situation.  These industries include tree fruit, tree nut, nurseries, greenhouses, etc.  Since the model developed in this study is being applied to the dairy industry, food processors should be able to easily adopt this model for their own uses.

 Entrepreneurs who are interested in operating agricultural resource recovery facilities can benefit from this research because it can help them identify the optimal place to locate their operation.  It is important for these entrepreneurs to understand the transportation costs related to moving the waste from the farm to their facility because this information directly affects their economic viability.  If this model can provide the information needed to induce entrepreneurs to recycle agricultural waste, then society becomes a winner because it gains a new level of efficiency where less waste is put into landfills.



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08-3-020      Khalil, Hany

Development of Nutritionally Dense, Low Weight Ready to Eat (RTE) Meal to Enhance Endurance and Physical Performance

The Department of Defense (D.O.D.) and the Office of Naval Research (O.N.R.) have reported that soldiers in combat zones are losing muscle tissue due to the intense physical demands in the field.  Loss of muscle tissue due to exertion is also reported by endurance athletes.  The O.N.R. has proposed that a light weight, calorie-dense ready to eat meal (RTEM) designed to reduce muscle tissue loss is a possible approach.  Therefore, the objective of this project is to develop a process to produce such a RTEM for the O.N.R. for them to conduct nutritional studies.  The RTEM will be formulated with nutrients proven to reduce muscle tissue loss and enhance the overall nutritional quality of the meal.  The meals will be developed through freeze drying which will minimize degradation to nutrients and produce a light weigh shelf stable meal.  The deliverables as a result of this project is an industry ready value added process/product development and enough prototype samples for O.N.R. to conduct nutritional trials. 



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08-3-021      Mark, Walter

Monterey Pine Propagation for California Native Stand Conservation and for the Nursery Industry

This project will keep Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) viable in its native range and an important timber producing species in the rest of the world.  The research is divided into three areas: 1) Development of P. radiata trees that are genetically resistant to pitch canker (Fusarium circinatum) and a method to export trees to parts of the world that currently ban importation of P. radiata plant materials; 2) Testing for resistance to pitch canker of planting stock from countries where P. radiata is an important commercial exotic tree; and 3) Conserving the genetic pool of the native stands of P. radiata in North America.

 Part one includes micropropagation of P. radiata from both buds and seeds.  Techniques from an earlier ARI project will be expanded to include propagation from seeds with assistance from ENSIS, New Zealand.  The explants will be screened for presence of genetic material from pathogens, through the use of PCR screening in cooperation with a procedure under development by ENSIS, New Zealand.  Once screened and determined pathogen free, trees can be exported for quarantine screening in the country importing the explants.  Primers for PCR use to conduct early screening for pitch canker resistance in any population of P. radiata will have to be developed.  This will allow for screening at the pollen, seed, or cotyledon stage and will streamline screening procedures. 

 Part two includes continued care and sampling from the outplanting of 256 seedlots from New Zealand, Australia, and Chile at Swanton Pacific Ranch.  These were planted in 2005 and 2006 and are observed annually for survival and for the natural spread of pitch canker through the various seedlots and the entire planting.

 Part three will produce a genetic conservation reservoir of P. radiata from the five native populations.  These trees can be produced from micropropagation or from controlled pollination seeds exhibiting resistance to pitch canker.  This is a critical step in making certain that P. radiata continues to survive in the five native populations and that new genetic material is available to tree breeders in areas where P. radiata is utilized as an exotic commercial species.



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08-3-024      Reaves, Scott

Mechanisms of Skeletal Muscle Loss in Aging and its Prevention by Nutrient Intervention

Muscle loss occurs in adults for a variety of reasons such as disease, disuse and sarcopenia, an accelerated rate of skeletal muscle loss due to aging. Significant loss of skeletal muscle can have devastating effects including but not limited to reduced caloric expenditure, reduced insulin sensitivity, reduced strength, increased prevalence of falls and inability to live and function independently.  Old age can result in a 20-30% decline in muscle mass over time and yet many of the cellular mechanisms responsible remain undetermined.  One factor that appears to play a mechanistic role in aging is the transcription factor Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB).  The studies proposed here will further examine the role of NF-kB in the aging of various tissues including skeletal muscle.  Although the role of NF-kB in numerous diseases has been well-described, its role in skeletal muscle loss in the elderly is yet to be clearly defined.  A large number of studies have indicated that proteolysis pathways related to NF-kB may be more active in old age and this may contribute to the loss of skeletal muscle.  However, important details remain unexplained and it will require significant research efforts to reach a level of understanding that will benefit the human population. In the proposed studies, rats of various ages will be fed specialized diets containing putative protective nutrients and molecular biology techniques will be used to examine NF-kB-dependent cellular events such as alterations in gene expression as well as NF-kB protein levels and translocation that may trigger NF-kB-regulated proteolysis.  The studies will also examine the ability of specific dietary antioxidants and the amino acid leucine to regulate the activation of NF-kB during the aging process.  Results from these studies could suggest how specific dietary components may attenuate the aging process in specific tissues such as muscle tissue and lead to health benefits such as the retention of muscle tissue in the elderly.



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08-3-025      Rickard, Brad

Export Markets and California Agriculture: Understanding the Implications of Trade Barriers Applied to Citrus Products

International trade continues to be an important driver of California’s agriculture sector; the total value of California agricultural products sold to markets outside of the United States exceeded $8 billion in 2004.  Trade commitments made under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Central American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, among others have fostered trade liberalization and increased market access for U.S. producers of several agricultural commodities.  Current WTO negotiations are attempting to lower trade barriers—tariffs and non-tariff barriers—among all 150 member countries; much of the discussion is centered on the subsidies applied to grains in the United States, Canada, and Japan, and those applied to fruit and vegetable products in Europe.  California is a large producer and exporter of horticultural products; it is expected that WTO commitments will decrease global trade barriers and increase sales and exports of several U.S. horticultural products. 

This research will assess the economic effects of potential changes in global trade barriers for citrus producers in California.  The purpose of the proposed research is twofold.  First, it will describe the public policy setting for citrus products in Europe, the United States, and other key producing regions and trade partners.  Second, it will quantify the effects of reform in trade barriers for citrus products using a simulation model that characterizes producers and consumers in various regions.  The proposed work will examine real-world questions, and it is expected that a wide audience will be interested in the results including citrus producers and processors, policy-makers, and those with a general interest in the effects of government intervention in agricultural markets.



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08-3-029      Watabe-Belzel, Madoka

Management and Leadership Skills in the Undergraduate Dietetics Curriculum: Are Key Competencies Taught Effectively?

Recent research has found that registered dietitians are ranked lower in competence on key leadership and management competencies such as strategic planning, financial analysis, labor relations and negotiation when compared to food service directors who are not registered dietitians.  This research proposes to examine how effectively key leadership and management competencies are taught in the undergraduate nutrition and dietetics curriculum, using data from faculty in the 261 accredited Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) in the United States.  

Research results have potential significance in program evaluation, accreditation, planning and development at Cal Poly, other didactic programs in dietetics and The American Dietetic Association, Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE).

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