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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Jul;68(7):3639-43.

Evidence of association of salmonellae with tomato plants grown hydroponically in inoculated nutrient solution.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Technology, Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223-1797, USA.


The possibility of uptake of salmonellae by roots of hydroponically grown tomato plants was investigated. Within 1 day of exposure of plant roots to Hoagland nutrient solution containing 4.46 to 4.65 log(10) CFU of salmonellae/ml, the sizes of the pathogen populations were 3.01 CFU/g of hypocotyls and cotyledons and 3.40 log(10) CFU/g of stems for plants with intact root systems (control) and 2.55 log(10) CFU/g of hypocotyls and cotyledons for plants from which portions of the roots had been removed. A population of > or =3.38 log(10) CFU/g of hypocotyls-cotyledons, stems, and leaves of plants grown for 9 days was detected regardless of the root condition. Additional studies need to be done to unequivocally demonstrate that salmonellae can exist as endophytes in tomato plants grown under conditions that simulate commonly used agronomic practices.

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