Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Engineering (MS)

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Danielle J. Carrier

Committee Member

Edgar C. Clausen

Second Committee Member

Thomas A. Costello


Biological sciences, Essential oils, Loblolly pine, Shortleaf pine


In the forestry industry, the pine tree species are important because of their durable timber and fast growth. In Arkansas, trees such as the loblolly pine compose almost a third of the timberland, seven million acres. In addition to the lignocellulosic biomass, pine bark and needles potentially have industrial importance as a waste stream from which high value (e.g., pharmaceutical, cosmetics) chemicals could be extracted, which could potentially increase the profit margin of forestry operations. In this research, the possibility that pine needles harvested from industry processed pine tree residues could be used as an antibacterial or cytotoxic chemical agent in order to provide an added value co-product for the lumber industry was investigated. Pinus taeda (loblolly pine tree) forestry residue and Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine tree) leaf essential oils were both effective cytotoxic agents against the Caco-2 cell line (heterogeneous human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma). The P. taeda caused complete cell culture death in 24 hours at the lowest concentration used, 0.15%, while the P. echinata essential oil was effective at 0.33%, reaching complete cell death at 1.25%. Both essential oils were tested against and showed some effectiveness against cocktails of the four bacterial species: Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enterica. Both these properties indicate that essential oils of both the P. taeda (loblolly pine tree) needle residue and P. echinata (shortleaf pine tree) needles have the potential to provide added value to the forestry industry, provided that their cytotoxic properties are further examined.