Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cell & Molecular Biology (MS)

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Steven C. Ricke

Committee Member

Young Min Kwon

Second Committee Member

Jeffrey A. Lewis


Biological sciences, Broiler, Microbiome, Prebiotic


Prebiotic refers to nondigestible food ingredients that enhance the health of the host by selectively promoting one or more number of beneficial bacteria. Gibson and Roberfroid (1995) initially described prebiotics as compounds that neither hydrolyzed nor absorbed in upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, selectively stimulates growth of beneficial bacteria, enhance health of the host and able to amend microorganism population to healthier states. Prebiotics are particularly attractive supplements in animal production due to their variety of effects including production of short chain fatty acids, pH amendments and suppression of pathogen colonization. In addition, prebiotics were emphasized as antibiotic alternatives due to raise of antibiotic resistant pathogens. This thesis consists of one review and two research parts: a comprehensive literature review that covers various prebiotics used in poultry industry and microbiome quantification techniques including multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and next generation sequencing (NGS) (chapter 1), a research manuscript involves assessment of cecal microbiota, integron, fermentation response, and Salmonella frequency in broilers fed a commercial prebiotic (chapter 2), and a research manuscript involves growth performance and microbial population assessment by NGS approach (chapter 3).