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Evaluation of a Biocontrol Preparation Consisting of Enterobacter asburiae JX1 and a Lytic Bacteriophage Cocktail To Suppress the Growth of Salmonella Javiana Associated with Tomatoes

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A biocontrol preparation based on a combination of Enterobacter asburiae JX1 and a cocktail of five lytic bacteriophages was evaluated for control of Salmonella Javiana within the rhizosphere of plants and in pre- and postharvest tomatoes. The biocontrol preparation introduced into the rhizosphere of growing tomato plants reduced the persistence of Salmonella, although no synergistic action was observed between E. asburiae JX1 or the bacteriophage cocktail when used in combination. When the biocontrol preparation was coinoculated with Salmonella onto the blossom of tomato plants, the prevalence of the enteric pathogen both on the surface and in internal tissues of the subsequent tomatoes was significantly reduced compared with controls. Tomatoes derived from plants inoculated with Salmonella alone had a prevalence of 92% surface contamination (22 of 24 tomato batches were positive for Salmonella) and 43% internal contamination (31 of 72 batches positive). This Salmonella prevalence was reduced to 0% (0 of 38 positive) and 2% (1 of 57 positive), respectively, when the biocontrol preparation was applied. Although bacteriophages reduced the prevalence of internalized Salmonella, the main growth suppressing effect was via the antagonistic activity of E. asburiae JX1. No bacteriophages were recovered from tomatoes despite being introduced at 6 log PFU onto the blossom of plants. The biocontrol preparation was not effective for controlling the growth of Salmonella introduced onto postharvest tomatoes that were stored for 7 days at 15°C. The application of E. asburiae JX1 is a promising approach for controlling Salmonella encountered in tomato production, and there was no evidence to suggest that the antagonistic activity could be enhanced by the coinoculation of bacteriophages.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 2: Food Program, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, 93 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 5C9 3: Land Resource Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1 4: Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1;, Email:

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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