MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF ENTERIC PATHOGENS THAT CONTAMINATE FRESH PRODUCE
Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research
Project Number: 5325-42000-044-00
Start Date: Dec 28, 2005
End Date: Dec 27, 2010
To characterize the ecology of enteric pathogens on produce, the ecology and epidemiology of E. coli O157:H7 in the produce production environment and develop improved methods for the detection of bacterial and viral enteric pathogens on produce. FY06 objective: Develop and validate receptor based methods for capturing ricin and related plant toxins from food(s). Problem to be Addressed: 1) Identify mechanisms critical to the attachment, growth, and/or survival of human pathogens, as well as to their interaction with the natural microflora on fresh produce - particularly in relation to biofilm formation. 2) Develop rapid methods for the concentration, detection, quantification and characterization of enteric pathogens found in and on produce. FY07 Objectives of Research: Identify bacterial genes that are involved in the attachment, colonization and survival of enteric pathogens on produce. Identify plant genes that mediate the attachment, colonization and survival of enteric pathogens on plants. Determine the biotic and molecular factors that drive the interaction of enteric pathogens with the bacteria on produce, and that are conducive to mixed biofilm formation. Develop methods and biosensors for the concentration and detection of enteric pathogens from produce and soil, development of improved methods for isolation and detection of enterohemorrhagic E. coli and use of these methods for studying the sources of E. coli O157:H7 contamination of the produce production environment, development of methods for identifying Noroviruses in water and produce production environment.
Plant-microbe model systems in combination with population studies, molecular methods, genomics, proteomics, and microscopy, will be used to investigate the interaction of human pathogens with plants and with plant-associated bacteria, as well as to develop improved methods for the detection of human pathogens on produce. Formerly 5325-42000-040-00D (11/05). FY06 Program Increase.