Date of Graduation

5-2013

Level of Access

Restricted: Archival Copy [No Access]

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department or Program

Chemistry

Number of Pages

108

First Advisor

Koviach-Cote, Jennifer

Abstract

Plants are exposed to a number of stresses including high UV light and nutrient deficiency. In order to combat the effects of these stresses, plants employ a number of naturally occurring compounds. One of the largest subsets of these compounds, and the subject of this project, are phenylpropanoids (PPs). PPs relieve stress in plants by acting as antioxidants, or free radical scavengers. Because an excess of free radicals in humans has been linked to ailments such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, the antioxidant power of PPs makes them an important topic of study. This work set out to examine the mechanism by which PPs scavenge free radicals. To do this, ten compounds were synthesized, each containing one, two, three, or four PPs. The compounds were then analyzed for their radical scavenging activity by calculating the number of radicals scavenged after a fixed amount of time in both a proton-rich and a proton-deficient solvent. The experiments in the proton rich solvent showed that an increasing number of PPs, increased the radical scavenging activity of the substrates. In the proton-deficient solvent, the compounds had significantly lower radical scavenging activities, indicating that the proton-rich solvent played a role in the radical scavenging mechanism of these substrates.

Components of Thesis

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