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Research Project: Persistence of Escherichia Coli O157:H7 on Plant Roots Grown Under Water and Salinity Stress Regimes in the Field and Growth Chamber

Location: Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research

Project Number: 2036-32000-005-02-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 20, 2014
End Date: Jun 30, 2019

Objective:
Investigate the population dynamics of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on plant roots grown under various water/ salinity regimes in the field and growth chamber; 2) investigate persistence of E. coli O157:H7 in soil, irrigation water, and rhizosphere; 3) develop predictive models for E. coli O157:H7 persistence/survival in soil and on plants grown under field conditions under different environmental conditions.

Approach:
We will use specific real time PCR probes to quantitatively monitor survival/persistence of E. coli in soil, rhizosphere, and on leaf surfaces grown in the lab, growth chamber, and lysimeters at different irrigation water qualities, salinity and other environmental conditions. Apply next generation sequencing of 16S rRNA to determine influence of different bacterial groups on persistence of E. coli O157:H7 in soil. Finally, we will model the interaction between environmental factors, population changes, and genes that are expressed during growth of bacterial pathogens in the rhizosphere and on leaf surfaces.