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Influence of Soft Rot Bacteria on Growth of Listeria monocytogenes on Potato Tuber Slices

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Growth of Listeria monocytogenes on potato tuber slices and its interaction with four representative species of soft rot bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens, P. viridiflava, Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora, and Xanthomonas campestris) were investigated. When potato tuber slices were inoculated with one of two L. monocytogenes strains (Scott A and ATCC 15313), an increase in numbers of 3 to 4 logs per gram of tissue was observed with samples that were stored at 20°C for 6 days. However, an increase of about 2 logs was observed with samples that were stored at 8°C for 12 days. When potato slices were simultaneously inoculated with L. monocytogenes and one of the four soft rot bacteria, the growth of L. monocytogenes was inhibited in the presence of P. fluorescens or P. viridiflava but was not significantly affected in the presence of E. carotovora or X. campestris. The antagonism of the two pseudomonads to L. monocytogenes was also observed in potato tuber extract and in culture media. Formation of inhibition zones was observed only in iron-deficient media but not in the medium supplemented with FeCl3. In addition, production of fluorescent siderophore (pyoverdin) by these two pseudomonads was demonstrated. L. monocytogenes was unable to colonize macerated plant tissue induced by soft-rotting bacteria 2 days before inoculation of the pathogen. These results indicate that growth of L. monocytogenes on potato tuber slices is differentially affected by soft rot bacteria and that antagonism of fluorescent pseudomonads to L. monocytogenes is possibly caused by the production of iron-chelating siderophore by these pseudomonads.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Eastern Regional Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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