The objectives of this proposed research will be to gain a greater understanding of the biochemical and molecular genetic mechanisms involved in the attachment,survival and growth of foodborne pathogens on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Our cooperative approach will be to standardze isolation protocols for beta-glucans from foodborne human pathogens, based on our past experience with Rhizobium and E. coli strains. Perform structural characterization various carbohydrate analyses techniques such as gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and NMR. Examine regulatory factors influencing synthesis of beta-glucans using in vitro and in vivo assays. Generate mutants of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 strains defective in beta-glucan synthesis. Finally, we will study the attachment, growth and survival of mutant (and wild type) strains on fresh and fresh-cut produce.