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Susmitha Nambuthiri, Robert L. Geneve, Youping Sun, Xueni Wang, R. Thomas Fernandez, Genhua Niu, Guihong Bi, and Amy Fulcher

from wood pulp, 3) keratin [KR (Horticultural Research Institute, Washington, DC)] made from a chicken feather-based bioplastic, 4) a black fabric container [FB (Root Pouch, Hillsboro, OR)] made from recycled plastic, and 5) coir fiber [Coir (Retail

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Robin G. Brumfield, Alyssa J. DeVincentis, Xueni Wang, R. Thomas Fernandez, Susmitha Nambuthiri, Robert L. Geneve, Andrew K. Koeser, Guihong Bi, Tongyin Li, Youping Sun, Genhua Niu, Diana Cochran, Amy Fulcher, and J. Ryan Stewart

production (COP), cost per plant, cost per acre, and proportion of average COP for ‘Green Velvet’ boxwood grown in keratin pots in Michigan (MI), Kentucky (KY), Mississippi (MS), and Texas (TX). Table 6. Input costs for total cost of production (COP), cost

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Xueni Wang, R. Thomas Fernandez, Bert M. Cregg, Rafael Auras, Amy Fulcher, Diana R. Cochran, Genhua Niu, Youping Sun, Guihong Bi, Susmitha Nambuthiri, and Robert L. Geneve

daily water use in 2012 of ‘Green Velvet’ boxwood grown in WP (alternative container made from recycled paper by Western Pulp Products, Corvallis, OR), KT (alternative container made from keratin by Horticultural Research Institute. Washington, DC

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Jong-Myung Choi and Paul V. Nelson

An actinomycete designated Streptomyces cn1 with a high proteolytic activity and capacity to degrade feather keratin was isolated and its effectiveness for altering feathers to yield a slow-release N fertilizer was evaluated. The pattern of N release in column elution tests from feathers ground to a particle size ≤1 mm, but otherwise unaltered, was characterized by a first period of release from weeks 2 through 5 with a high peak at week 3 and a second period of release from 14 to 20 weeks. The release of N during the first period was 10.5% and during the second period it was 7.3% for a total of only 17.8% of the N contained in these feathers. Grinding feathers to a finer particle size ≤0.5 mm caused increases in N release during the two periods to 14.7% and 15.8% N, respectively, for a total of 30.5% and second period N release began 5 weeks earlier at week 9. Microbial hydrolysis with Streptomyces cn1 for 1 though 5 days resulted in an adverse reduction in total N released, due in part to drying of feathers after hydrolysis. Hydrolysis of feathers for 7 days resulted in 42.6% of total N released over 20 weeks with 77.0% of this released during weeks 6 through 20. The second period of release began at week 8. Hydrolysis of feathers for 9 days was best for purposes of a slow-release fertilizer. Forty five percent of total N was released over 20 weeks with 89.3% of this released during the second period that began in week 7. Root substrate pH was increased in all treatments where feathers were applied. This would require a reduction in the rate of limestone incorporated into a commercial substrate when feather N is used. Pepsin digestibility and ninhydrin tests provided some insight into the N release mechanism but did not effectively predict N release from the feather products.

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Jong-Myung Choi and Paul V. Nelson

The structure of feather keratin protein was modified in attempts to develop a slow-release N fertilizer of 12 weeks duration or longer by steam hydrolysis to break disulfide bonds, enzymatic hydrolysis with Bacillus licheniformis (Weigmann) to break polypeptide bonds, and steam hydrolysis (autoclaving) to hasten mineralization followed by cross-linking of the protein by a formaldehyde reaction to control the increased rate of mineralization. Release of N in potting substrate within elution columns from ground, but otherwise untreated, raw feathers occurred mainly during the first 5 weeks with a much smaller release occurring from weeks 8 to 12. Steam hydrolysis resulted in an increase of N during the first 5 weeks and a decrease during weeks 8 to 11. Cumulative N release over 11 weeks increased from 12% in raw feathers to 52% for feathers steam hydrolyzed for 90 minutes. This favored an immediately available fertilizer but not a slow-release fertilizer. Microbial hydrolysis with B. licheniformis resulted in a modest reduction of N release during the first 5 weeks and a small increase during weeks 8 to 11. Both shifts, while not desirable for an immediately available fertilizer, enhanced the slow-release fertilizer potential of feathers but not sufficiently to result in a useful product. Steam hydrolyzed feathers cross-linked with quantities of formaldehyde equal to 5% and 10% of the feather weight released less N during the first 5 weeks, more during weeks 6 and 7, and less during weeks 9 to 12 compared to raw feathers. The first two shifts were favorable for a slow-release fertilizer while the third was not.

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Michael R. Evans and Leisha Vance

.R. Evans, unpublished). Being made almost entirely of the protein keratin, feathers are strong, fibrous, biodegradable and contain ≈15% N by weight ( Hadas and Kautsky, 1994 ). Feathers were reported to have more surface area and to be more absorbent than

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Jiyu Zhang, Min Wang, Zhenghai Mo, Gang Wang, and Zhongren Guo

). All the ABCDE MADS-box genes are of the MIKC type with regard to the presence of four distinct domains, which are a highly conserved MADS-box (M) domain, an intervening (I) domain, a moderately conserved keratin (K) domain, and a C-terminal (C) domain

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Susmitha Nambuthiri, Amy Fulcher, Andrew K. Koeser, Robert Geneve, and Genhua Niu

max ) or keratin from waste poultry feathers. Lipids are derived from plant oils and animal fats. These raw materials are usually blended with fossil fuel-based polymers derived from petrochemical refining to reduce cost, enhance performance, or both

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James A. Schrader, Gowrishankar Srinivasan, David Grewell, Kenneth G. McCabe, and William R. Graves

-cost natural fibers or fillers ( Grewell et al., 2013 ). Trials evaluating the function and fertilizer effect of plastics made from blends of keratin protein indicate that protein-based plastics may be good replacements for petroleum-based plastics in plant

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Peter Nveawiah-Yoho, Jing Zhou, Marsha Palmer, Roger Sauve, Suping Zhou, Kevin J. Howe, Tara Fish, and Theodore W. Thannhauser

keratin, porcine trypsin, and Con-A was used to avoid accumulating spectra of uninformative ions. Database search criteria were the same as described by Zhou et al. (2013) . Briefly, precursor mass tolerance was set to 0.05 Da, whereas fragment tolerance