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Use of Endophytic Microorganisms to Improve the Food Safety of Fresh and Fresh-cut Produce

Zheng, Guolu
Lincoln University
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The goal of this study is to develop novel biocontrol methods to improve the microbial food safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce. The underlying assumption is that anti-human-pathogen endophytes, including bacteria and fungi, can safeguard produce in situ against potential human pathogens from farm to table. The EcO157-romanie lettuce combination is selected for this study as it has been identified as the major cause of several recent, major foodborne outbreaks in the United States (Marder et al. 2014; Slayton et al. 2013; USCDC 2018). The specific objectives of this study are:Objective 1: To identify dominant, indigenous microbial species in romaine lettuce.Objective 2: To isolate anti-human-pathogen endophytic bacteria and fungi from romaine lettuce.Objective 3: To determine in planta the efficacy of the anti-human-pathogen endophytic isolates.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins