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Changes in Bacterial Flora of Japanese Cabbage during Growth and Potential Source of Flora

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Bacterial flora of cabbage were identified and enumerated during various stages of growth, and the potential sources of contamination in the field were determined. Bacterial counts increased from below the level of detection (2.4 log CFU/g) on seeds to 2.5 to 5.7 log CFU/g on seedlings. After transplanting, the counts of mesophilic aerobic bacteria on leaves decreased and then increased to 5.7 log CFU/g on outer leaves, 5.0 log CFU/g on middle leaves, and 3.0 log CFU/g on inner leaves at the harvesting stage. Counts of coliforms were below the level of detection during the growing period of the leaves. Bacteria isolated from cabbage seeds, seedlings, and leaves were soilborne organisms such as Bacillus, Curtobacterium, and Delftia and phytopathogenic organisms such as Pseudomonas, Pantoea, and Stenotrophomonas. These bacteria were found frequently in seeding machines, potting soil mix, soil, agricultural water, pesticide solutions mixed with the agricultural water, liquid fertilizers, and chemical fertilizers. Contamination from these environmental sites occurred throughout the cabbage growing period rather than only at the harvesting stage. These results indicate that use of clean water for irrigation and for mixing with pesticides and amendments from seeding to the harvesting stage is an important part of a good agricultural practices program for cabbage in Japan.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, Kinki University, 930 Nishimitani, Kinokawa, Wakayama 649-6493, Japan. 2: Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, Kinki University, 930 Nishimitani, Kinokawa, Wakayama 649-6493, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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