Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research
Project Number: 2030-42000-050-06-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Sep 30, 2016
End Date: Sep 29, 2017
1) To determine the microbiome composition of healthy vs diseased lettuce and spinach leaf tissue from fields in the Salinas region, and assess its effect on the persistence of E. coli O157:H7 in these crops; and 2) To characterize Salmonella strains isolated from cilantro seeds and leaves, and assess their comparative fitness on cilantro plants inoculated at the seed planting stage.
1) Uninoculated and E. coli O157:H7-inoculated lettuce leaf tissue that is healthy or infected with plant endemic pathogens will be sampled from ARS-Salinas field plots for metagenomic analysis of microbial communities; 2) Salmonella strains isolated from cilantro by the FDA will be phenotypically characterized with Omnilog arrays by the FDA, and select strains will be inoculated onto cilantro seeds to assess their comparative ability to colonize aerial plants parts in the laboratory at the ARS.