John Patterson


John Patterson's Main Page

Research Program

There is increasing evidence that there is communication between the intestinal microbiota and epithelial and immune function. Research in my laboratory is currently focusing the influence of dietary additions and stressors on the intestinal microbial community structure and microbial interactions influencing anaerobic digestion of waste biomass and production of hydrogen and methane. In collaboration with others, we are addressing the influence of diet and stressors on interactions between the intestinal microbiota, the mucosal epithelium and the mucosal immune system.

Diet and stressor influence on intestinal microbota


Anaerobic intestinal bacteria affect food digestion and health of all animal species. With over 10 billion bacterial cells per gram of intestinal contents, there are more bacteria in animal bodies than there are animal cells. Alterations in the intestinal microbiota can influence animal health and human food safety. Thus it is important to determine environmental and dietary factors that alter the intestinal bacterial community structure. We have addressed the effect of diet (US vs EU), probiotics and prebiotics, and stressors (fasting and elevated temperature) on animal performance. We use classical microbial enumeration and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) to determine changes in bacterial communigy structure. We have also shown that stressors influence attachment of salmonella to ileal tissues.

Microbial digestion of waste biomass

Microbial interactions influence fermentation products from intestinal substrates and from waste biomass. We are especially interested in the influence of interspecies hydrogen transfer reactions on microbial fermentation produces. We are also investigating maximizing hydrogen or methane production from waste biomass.

Research Techniques

  • Anaerobic chambers
  • Batch and continuous cultures
  • Enumeration of intestinal microbial populations
  • Analysis of Microbial Community Structure (DGGE)
  • Gas chromatography
  • Enzymatic assays

Selected Publications

Patterson, J.A., and K.M. Burkholder. 2003. Application of prebiotics and probiotics in poultry production. Poul. Sci. 82:627-631.

Burkholder, K.M., K.L. Thompson, K.M. Banks, T.J. Applegate, and J.A. Patterson. 2003. Feed withdrawl alters intestinal morphology and attachment of Salmonella enteritidis in broilers. Poul. Sci. July 14-17.

Cary, D.C., S.D. Eicher, J.A. Patterson, and T.A. Johnson. 2004. A yeast cell-wall derivative and ascorbic acid fed to neonatal dairy calves is protective against enteric challenge with Salmonella Dublin. Crawdad Meetings.

Selig, K.B., and J.A. Patterson. 2004. Changes in intestinal microbiota and ileal susceptibility to pathogen attachment in broilers subjected to 24 hr heat stress. American Society of Animal Science, American Society of Dairy Science and Poultry Science Annual meeting. St. Louis, MO. July 26-29.

Magnani, L., A. Piva, K.M. Selig, B.T. Richert, and J.A. Patterson. 2004. Influence of diet on microbial community structure and activity in the intestinal tract of weanling pigs. American Society of Animal Science, American Society of Dairy Science and Poultry Science Annual meeting. St. Louis, MO. July 26-29.

Potturi, L.P.V., J.A. Patterson and T.J. Applegate. 2004. Effects of delayed placement on villus characteristics and barier functions of the small intestine of the newly hatched turkey. Poult. Sci. 83(Suppl. 1):264.

Zhang, P., J.L. Wampler, A.K. Bhunia, R.L. Whistler, K.M. Burkholder, and J.A. Patterson. 2004. Macrophage activation and gut health promotion of hemicelluloses from corn hulls and banana peels. Cereal Science. 81(4):511-514.

Patterson, J.A.. 2004. Impact of symbiotic microbiota on intestinal development and health of pigs and poultry. Canadian Society of Animal Science, Edmonton, Canada. July 20-22.

Patterson, J.A., and A.L. Sutton. 2004. Interactions between indigeneous gut microbiota and animal waste production. American Society of Animal Science, American Society of Dairy Science and Poultry Science Annual meeting. St. Louis, MO. July 26-29.

Burkholder, K.M., T.J. Applegate, and J.A. Patterson. 2005. Performance and intestinal characteristics of broilers fed salinomycin, fructooligosaccharides, probiotics and synbiotics. Southern Poultry Science Association Meeting, Atlanta, Ga. January.

Thompson, K.L., K.M. Burkholder, J.A. Patterson, and T.J. Applegate. 2005. Microbial ecology shifts in the small intestine of broilers during feed withdrawal. Southern Poultry Science Association Meeting, Atlanta, Ga. January

Thompson, K., Z. Kounev, J.A. Patterson, and T. Applegate. 2005. Performance and nutrient retention responses of broilers to dietary oxyhalogenic and ionic salts. Poul. Sci. 84(2):238-247.

Pang, Y.F., J. A. Patterson, and T. J. Applegate. 2005. The effect of copper on growth of lactobacillus and E. coli in medium inoculated with chicken ileal content in vitro. Poultry Science Annual Meeting. Auburn, AL. July 29.

Potturi, P.V.L., J. A. Patterson, and T. J. Applegate. 2005. Effects of Delayed Placement on Intestinal Characteristics in Turkey Poults. Poul. Sci. 84(5):816-824.

Patterson, J.A.. 2005. Prebiotic feed additives: Rationale and use in pigs. Banff Pork Seminar. Banff, Canada.

Cary, D.C., S.D. Eicher and J.A. Patterson. 2005. The peripheral and micro- enviroment immune function of neonatal dairy calves fed beta-glucan with and without ascorbic acid. Leucocyte Biology, UK.

Williams, J.L., S.D. Eicher, J.A. Patterson and J. Marchant-Forde. 2005. Effects of lairage during transport on immune function in swine. CRAWDAD Meetings.