Theses and Dissertations



Mohammadi-Aragh, Maryam

Committee Member

Evans, Jeffrey

Committee Member

Chesser, Gary D., Jr.

Committee Member

Lowe, John Wesley

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 1 year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Agriculture (Engineering Technology)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Engineering Technology Program


Poultry litter can harbor pathogenic bacteria, including avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC). Applying litter amendments is one strategy to improve bird health and potentially reduce pathogens. Biochar and PLT were applied as litter amendments in a live bird trial to study their effects on E. coli populations, APEC virulence genes (VAG), and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. Samples were collected at days 0, 17, 29, and 41 to enumerate E. coli and store bacterial isolates for antimicrobial-resistance gene analysis. Data analysis showed litter amendments did not significantly affect overall E. coli populations. Grow-out time impacted E. coli populations, with reductions occurring over time. Litter treatment had no impact on the prevalence of VAG or AMR. Time showed VAGs were absent at d 0 while AMR genes were prevalent at d 0. This indicates chicks may have been the source of VAG, while AMR genes were prevalent in used litter.