Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce

Date:
September 29, 2009
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Exposure to light and possibly photosynthesis itself could be helping disease-causing bacteria to be internalized by lettuce leaves, making them impervious to washing, according to new research.

New research suggests that exposure to light and possibly photosynthesis itself could be helping disease-causing bacteria to be internalized by lettuce leaves, making them impervious to washing.
Credit: iStockphoto/Alexei Novikov

Exposure to light and possibly photosynthesis itself could be helping disease-causing bacteria to be internalized by lettuce leaves, making them impervious to washing, according to research published in the October issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Salmonella enterica is a common cause of foodborne gastroenteritis, with an estimated number of 1 to 3 million human cases per year in the United States. Fresh produce is increasingly being implicated as a source of infection. One of the largest foodborne outbreaks in recent history, the Salmonella St. Paul outbreak in 2008 which sickened over 1,400 people, was associated with tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.

Previous studies of foodborne pathogens on produce have found that the bacteria do not only attach to the surface of fresh produce but find their way below the surface of the skin through pores called stomata where they can hide from and resist washing and food sanitizers.

In the study, researchers from the Agricultural Research Organization at the Volcani Center in Israel and Tel-Aviv University examined the role that light and photosynthesis might play on the ability of salmonella bacteria to infiltrate lettuce leaves via stomata. Sterile iceberg lettuce leaves were exposed to bacteria either in the light, in the dark, or in the dark after 30 minutes of exposure to light. Incubation in the light or preexposure to light resulted in aggregation of bacteria around open stomata and invasion into the inner leaf tissue. In contrast, incubation in the dark resulted in a scattered attachment pattern and very little internalization.

The researchers believe that the increased propensity for internalization in the light may be due to several factors. First, in the absence of light plants enter a period of dormancy, where stomata are closed and no photosynthesis takes place. In the light, the stomata are open. Additional findings also suggest that the bacteria are attracted to the open stomata by the nutrients produced during photosynthesis which are not present in the dark.

"The elucidation of the mechanism by which Salmonella invades intact leaves has important implications for both pre- and postharvest handling of lettuce and probably other leafy vegetables. The capacity to inhibit internalization should limit bacterial colonization to the phylloplane and consequently might enhance the effectiveness of surface sanitizers," say the researchers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928172524.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2009, September 29). Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928172524.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928172524.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins