Analysis of the bacterial community within carrot wash water

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Vegetables are washed after harvest to remove unwanted organic and inorganic particles, but wash water contaminated with certain pathogenic microorganisms can potentially contaminate produce. In this study, the microbial diversity of wash water was analyzed in samples taken from a carrot-processing facility. A 16S rRNA gene library with 427 clones was constructed and analyzed by amplified rDNA restriction analysis. For taxonomic classification, the 16S rRNA gene nucleotide sequences of 94 amplified rDNA restriction analysis fingerprints were determined. Each fingerprint indicates a distinct group of microorganisms. The nucleotide sequences were assigned to corresponding reference species. The most prevalent genus was Tolumonas, with 26% of the clones, followed by Acinetobacter and Flacobacterium, with 11% each. The latter two genera contain species that are known to cause nosocomial infections. The fourth most common genus was Arcobacter, comprising 9% of all clones. Some species of Arcobacter are considered to be emerging food pathogens, mainly associated with the contamination of meat products. So far, they have not been considered as contaminants of fresh produce. Based on the sequence data, an Arcobacter-specific PCR assay was developed to facilitate the detection of vegetable-associated Arcobacter strains.
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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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