STUDY OF SALMONELLA SURVIVAL ON THE SURFACE OF FRUITS
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Salmonella enterica has been frequently linked to the major foodborne disease outbreaks. The molecular mechanisms underlying this pathogen survival on the fresh fruit surface remain largely unexplored. In this study, the environmental factors that affect the survival of Salmonella strains on the surface of selected fruits were studied. Grape tomatoes (or cantaloupe peels) were inoculated in three separate trials with 1 mL Salmonella enterica serotypes Enteritidis or Typhimurium (approximately 1010-11 CFU/mL). Storage of grape tomatoes at 4 ℃ resulted in significant decrease in populations of S. Enteritidis; this trend was observed at both of the tested relative humidity with the D-value as 7.25±1.05 d and 7.28±2.34 d, respectively. At different temperatures, relative humidity only had marginal effects on the bacterial survival on the surface of grape tomato and cantaloupe. In addition, S. Typhimurium apparently survived better than S. Enteritidis on the surface of grape tomato. Furthermore, a transposonmutagenesis library with random transposon insertion mutants of S. Enteritidis and high-throughput sequencing analysis showed that the expression of genes rcsB and nlpD were hypothesized to be associated with the survival of S. Enteritidis on grape tomatoes. Inframe deletions of the two genes in S. Enteritidis were constructed by lambda red recombinase system and respective complementation mutants were also obtained for identification of the contribution of the two genes to the bacterial survival on the surface of grape tomato. Thus, this study provided microbiological and molecular microbiological basis to probe the roles of putative genes in Salmonella enterica survival on the surface of fresh fruits.