Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tomato turf wars: Benign bug beats salmonella; tomato eaters win

Date:
May 5, 2014
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
A benign bacterium shows promise in blocking Salmonella from colonizing raw tomatoes, research shows. When applied to Salmonella-contaminated tomato plants in a field study, the bacterium, known as Paenibacillus alvei, significantly reduced the concentration of the pathogen compared to controls. "This bacterium also has no known history of human pathology, making it a great candidate as a biological control agent," says a corresponding author.

Scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified a benign bacterium that shows promise in blocking Salmonella from colonizing raw tomatoes. Their research is published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

When applied to Salmonella-contaminated tomato plants in a field study, the bacterium, known as Paenibacillus alvei, significantly reduced the concentration of the pathogen compared to controls.

Outbreaks of Salmonella traced to raw tomatoes have sickened nearly 2,000 people in the US from 2000-2010, killing three. Since the millennium, this pathogen has caused 12 multistate outbreaks of food-borne illness -- more than one each year. It was this carnage that provided the impetus for the study, according to corresponding author Jie Zheng, of the FDA.

"The conditions in which tomatoes thrive are also the conditions in which Salmonella thrives," says coauthor Eric W. Brown, also of FDA, "but we knew that if we could block Salmonella from infecting the tomato plant, we could reduce its risk of infecting the person who eats the tomato."

The logic behind the work is simple. Many innocuous bacterial species thrive within the tomato-growing environment.

"We hypothesized that such an organism could be found that possessed the ability to outcompete or chemically destroy Salmonella," says Zheng. "After screening many hundreds of potential biocontrol strains of bacteria that were isolated from farms and natural environments in the Mid-Atlantic region, we found about 10 isolates of bacteria representing very different genera and species that could curb the growth and/or destroy Salmonella in our test assays."

Many of these were as pathogenic to humans as is Salmonella, but two isolates, belonging to the environmentally friendly species, P. alvei, strongly inhibited growth of Salmonella.

"This bacterium also has no known history of human pathology, making it a great candidate as a biological control agent," says Zheng.

"While farmers and agricultural scientists have long used microbes to prevent plant diseases, we now have the opportunity to add a naturally-occurring microbe to a crop in the field with the goal of preventing human disease," says Zheng. "Our ambitions are now to extend this microbial approach to cantaloupe, leafy greens, and other crops that have lately been responsible for outbreaks of food-borne Salmonella and E. coli."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Allard, A. Enurah, E. Strain, P. Millner, S. L. Rideout, E. W. Brown, J. Zheng. In situ Evaluation of Paenibacillus alvei in Reducing Carriage of Salmonella Newport on Whole Tomato Plants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00835-14

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Tomato turf wars: Benign bug beats salmonella; tomato eaters win." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505112550.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2014, May 5). Tomato turf wars: Benign bug beats salmonella; tomato eaters win. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505112550.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Tomato turf wars: Benign bug beats salmonella; tomato eaters win." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505112550.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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