Project Number: 8042-32420-005-41
Start Date: Jan 01, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2014
The general approach of this cooperative research project will determine the attachment and biofilm forming properties of E. coli O157:H7 on leafy greens. Surface charge and hydrophobicity measurements will be done and attachment will be viewed under confocal scanning laser microscope (CSLM). The role of curli and cellulose in attachment, internalization, and biofilm formation on organic leafy greens will be evaluated under a controlled environment. Leaf surface structure, leaf roughness, and 3-D image analysis of leaves of commonly used leafy green cultivars will be compared to evaluate pathogen attachment. Field experiments will be conducted as needed to determine the effect of cultivars on E. coli O157:H7 attachment on organic leafy greens. The efficacy of several plant derived antimicrobials will be evaluated in reducing or inactivating pathogenic and microorganisms on equipment used during harvest. Novel MBEC and CDC-bioreactor assays will be employed to evaluate biofilm removing capacity of natural antimicrobials.