Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Vernon N Reinhold


It is known that trehalose helps many plants to survive under desiccated environment26. This property of trehalose has also been proposed to explain why Porphyra could survive desiccation when left on dry land for a long period of time25. However, after extensive study25, effort at identifying trehalose in Porphyra has been unsuccessful, leaving the question of whether trehalose really exists in Porphyra unanswered. In my thesis research, in collaboration with Dr. Anita Klein, I set out to use ion-trap mass spectrometry and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to identify and quantify the amount of trehalose in Porphyra extracts. Using these techniques, I was able to show for the first time that trehalose definitely exists and the amount decreases as Porphyra goes through desiccation. These results set the stage for further study in the role of trehalose plays in survival under desiccation.