<ol> <li>Develop methods to identify and characterize viral pathogens associated with produce;
<li>Determine if microorganisms normally present on plants, phytochemicals, and environmental conditions influence the survival of viruses on/in produce;
<li>Determine any influence or relationship to biofilm development;
<li>Determine the role of air, water and other plant growth, for example weeds, on pathogen transfer to produce.</ol>
FY01 Program Increase $359,190. Add 1 SY.</p>
Model systems for characterizing the attachment and survival of Campylobacter jejuni, E.coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes to poultry, fruit and vegetable surfaces will be developed. Mechanisms of attachment will be determined using biochemical, microbiological, immunochemical and molecular biological approaches. Methods for isolating and identifying multiple pathogens in foods or food related environments will be developed. Anti-pathogen monoclonal antibodies will be produced to detect and monitor pathogens in and on foods, and as inhibitors to detect attachment factors. Characterization of the mechanisms of attachment will provide information for developing new strategies to interfere with attachment. Plant extracts will be screened for compounds involved in attachment and that decrease the survival or virulence of pathogens on food products. Methods for measuring the types and viability of pathogens on food surfaces treated with candidate inhibitors or antimicrobials will be developed, including culture enrichment, immuno-capture, and cell sorting.