Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Tydings, Heather Anne URN etd-06172010-112221 Title Identification and Optimization of the Antagonistic Potential of Native Spinach Microbiota towards Escherichia coli O157:H7 Degree Master of Science Department Food Science and Technology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Ponder, Monica A. Committee Chair Boyer, Renee R. Committee Member Falkinham, Joseph O. III Committee Member Keywords
- epiphytic bacteria
- microbial diversity
- bacterial interaction
Date of Defense 2010-06-03 Availability restricted AbstractLeafy greens such as spinach have been the object of several recent food-borne pathogen outbreaks. The purpose of this study was to isolate bacteria spinach epiphytic bacteria that inhibit growth of E. coli O157:H7, which we describe as antagonism. The mechanism of antagonism was investigated and we attempted to improve the antagonistic potential in vitro and on spinach leaves when cellobiose, a carbon source utilized by the antagonists but not E. coli O157:H7, was added.
There were larger culturable populations of bacteria on the leaves of savoyed cultivars compared to flat. From the isolated colonies, 47 displayed antagonism towards E.coli O157:H7, and were identified as members of 11 different genera and sixteen species. A representative isolate from each species was evaluated for three possible mechanisms of antagonism: acid production, secretion of an inhibitory compounds or secreted protease. The majority (14/16) produced at least a moderate level of acid. Two of these strains, Paenibacillus polymyxa and Pseudomonas espejiana, were found to secrete a non- protease antagonistic compound.
These antagonists varied in their reduction of E.coli O157:H7 numbers in vitro, but all significantly reduced numbers in 48 hours of co-culturing in nutrient rich media. Five antagonists resulted in a significant reduction in E.coli O157:H7 populations when co-cultured on spinach leaves. Application of cellobiose did not improve the amount of antagonism in vitro or on the leaf surface after 24 hours.
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