E. coli 0157:H7 was present in tissues of mung bean sprouts and Salmonella in peanut seedlings after the plants' seeds were contaminated with the pathogens prior to planting. Amanda Deering, a postdoctoral researcher in food science, said seeds could be contaminated in such a manner before or after planting through tainted soil or water.
"The pathogens were in every major tissue, including the tissue that transports nutrients in plants," said Deering, whose results were published in separate papers in the Journal of Food Protection and Food Research International.
Deering and Robert Pruitt, a professor of botany and plant pathology, said finding pathogens inside plants has been challenging because tests require slicing off pieces of the plants, which can move the bacteria from the outside to the inside or vice versa. It becomes difficult to know where a pathogen might have been before the plant was cut.
"The results are often imprecise because the methods allow bacteria to move," said Pruitt, a co-author of the findings.
Deering used a fixative to freeze the location of the bacteria in the plant tissues before slicing samples. Antibodies labeled with fluorescent dye were used to detect the pathogens, a process called immunocytochemistry.
"This shows us as close to what was in the plant when it was living as possible," Deering said. "The number of bacteria increased and persisted at a high level for at least 12 days, the length of the studies."
Deering said she was able to count hundreds of bacteria in almost every type of tissue.
Proper sanitization would eliminate Salmonella and E. coli from the surface of foods, but not inner tissues, Deering and Pruitt said. Cooking those foods to temperatures known to kill the pathogens would eliminate them from inner tissues.
Deering and Pruitt will continue to study the pathogens to determine how they survive inside plant tissues and possible ways to eliminate them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service funded their work.
Abstracts on the research in this release is available at: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110815DeeringPathogens.html
Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine