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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Research Project #431872

Research Project: Metagenomics and Phenotypic Arrays-based Approaches for the Assessment of Foodborne Pathogen Persistence on Lettuce and Cilantro

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

Objective:
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.

Approach:
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.