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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: DEVELOPING BEST POSTHARVEST HANDLING PRACTICES TO ASSURE CANKER-FREE FRUIT EXPORTS

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Project Number: 6618-41430-005-08
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Aug 06, 2008
End Date: Feb 28, 2013

Objective:
To establish methods to ascertain that asymptomatic fruit leaving the packinghouse for market will be free of viable cells of the bacterium that causes citrus canker (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv citri). These methods will insure that bacteria established in small wounds and abrasions will not be able to cause disease when transferred to different localities.

Approach:
Studies will be undertaken using wounded inoculated fruit to better understand the capabilities of the pathogen to survive certain sanitation and treatment protocols. Should the pathogen survive packingline sanitation in wounds, a further antimicrobial treatment would insure no viable cells leave the packinghouse. Compounds will be screened using novel methods for their abilities to reduce or eliminate growth of Xanthomonas. These will be done on a continuing basis: antimicrobial compounds will be screened and compatible coatings found that will act as a carrier for them. These measures will be combined with sanitizers to form a system that will be consistently effective in reducing the occurrence of viable bacterial cells in the ready-to-ship product. The most efficient method in the laboratory setting will be scaled up to packinglines and tested for efficiency on inoculated and un-inoculated asymptomatic injured and non-injured fruit.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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