Submitted to: Journal of Applied Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2023
Publication Date: 10/18/2023
Citation: Lee, S., Tran, T.D., Hnasko, R.M., McGarvey, J.A. 2023. Use of Pantoea agglomerans ASB05 as a biocontrol agent to inhibit the growth of Salmonella enterica on intact cantaloupe melons. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 134(10):1-8. https://doi.org/10.1093/jambio/lxad235.
Interpretive Summary: We isolated over 8,000 bacteria that normally inhabit the surfaces of produce. We then screened them for the ability to inhibit the growth of Salmonella on cantaloupe melons. We identified one bacterium called Pantoea agglomerans ASB05 that was able to grow, persist and inhibit the growth of Salmonella on intact cantaloupes in both the pre- and post-harvest environments. We also showed that the growth inhibition of Salmonella was due to an antibiotic produced by Pantoea agglomerans ASB05. Thus, Pantoea agglomerans ASB05 could likely be sprayed onto the surfaces of cantaloupes and prevent the growth of Salmonella and reduce incidence of foodborne disease.
Technical Abstract: Aims: To identify biocontrol agents to prevent the growth of Salmonella enterica on cantaloupe melons during the pre- and post-harvest periods. Methods and Results: We created a produce-associated bacterial library containing > 8,000 isolates and screened it using an in vitro fluorescence inhibition assay to identify bacteria that inhibit the growth of S. enterica. One isolate, Pantoea agglomerans ASB05, was able to grow, persist and inhibit the growth of S. enterica on intact cantaloupe melons under simulated pre- and post-harvest conditions. We also demonstrated that the growth inhibition of S. enterica by P. agglomerans ASB05 was due to the production of a phenazine type antibiotic. Conclusions: P. agglomerans ASB05 is an effective biocontrol agent for the prevention of S. enterica growth on intact cantaloupe melons in both the pre- and post-harvest environments. Significance and Impact of Study Every year millions of people contract foodborne illnesses from fresh, ready to eat produce. We demonstrated that the produce-associated bacterium P. agglomerans ASB05 can be used as a biocontrol agent to prevent the growth of S. enterica on intact cantaloupe melons and likely other types of produce in both the pre- and post-harvest environments.