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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Research Project #445358

Research Project: Utilizing Invasive Apple Snail Shells for Chitosan Films, Coatings and Biocides - Albany, CA

Location: Bioproducts Research

Project Number: 2030-41000-067-019-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 24, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2026

a. Develop a cost-effective and efficient method for extracting chitosan from apple snail shells. b. Investigate the feasibility of utilizing chitosan derived from apple snail shells to produce films, seed coatings and novel biocide compositions. c. Assess the functional properties and potential applications of chitosan-based films, seed coatings and biocides.

a. Collection and processing of apple snail shells: Collaboration will be sought with authorities, environmental organizations, or research institutions to acquire invasive apple snail shells. The shells will be thoroughly cleaned, crushed, and ground to prepare them for chitosan extraction. b. Chitosan extraction: Various extraction techniques will be explored to efficiently obtain chitosan from the apple snail shells. Different parameters such as temperature, time, and chemical composition will be optimized to ensure maximum yield and purity. c. Characterization of chitosan: The extracted chitosan will be characterized using advanced analytical techniques to determine relevant properties, e.g. molecular weight, degree of deacetylation, and other relevant properties. d. Film, seed coating and biocide formulation: Chitosan-based films and seed coatings will be developed by incorporating the extracted chitosan with other compatible biopolymers, additives, and functional compounds. The film formulations will be optimized to achieve desired properties such as film strength, flexibility, and water permeability. Seed adhesion, protection, and germination enhancement for seed coatings. Chitosan-based biocidal formulations will be developed with model bacteria, fungi and mollusks (e.g. Pseudomonas, Aspergillus, Pomacea). The formulations will be optimized to achieve effective control of pests and pathogens while minimizing potential adverse effects on non-target organisms and the environment. Traditional (e.g. copper sulfate) and novel biocides (e.g. guanylhydrazones)7 will be evaluated alone and in combination with chitosan. e. Performance evaluation: The developed chitosan-based films and seed coatings will undergo rigorous testing to evaluate their functional properties, including mechanical strength, barrier properties, biodegradability, and seed germination rates. The developed chitosan-based biocidal formulations are envisioned to undergo rigorous testing to evaluate their efficacy against invasive apple snails, and other pests and pathogens. Laboratory trials, field trials, and controlled environment studies will be conducted to assess the formulations' biocidal activity, persistence, and safety. Comparative studies will also be conducted with commercially available products. f. Environmental impact assessment: An assessment will be conducted to assess the environmental benefits of utilizing apple snail shells for chitosan films, coatings, and biocides. This assessment will consider factors such as toxicity to non-target organisms, persistence in the environment, and potential for resistance development.