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J Food Prot. 2012 Mar;75(3):523-32. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-11-185.

Molecular characterization of spoilage bacteria as a means to observe the microbiological quality of carrot.

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MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Food Research, FI-31600 Jokioinen, Finland.


This study characterized the bacteria causing decay of carrots during storage and marketing. Spoilage strains were identified by 16S-amplified rDNA restriction analysis and intergenic transcribed spacer-PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (ITS-PCR-RFLP). Genotypic fingerprinting by RFLP-pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to assess the genetic diversity of the isolates. A total of 252 Pseudomonas isolates from carrots were identified and classified into eight separate groups. Most strains belonged to group A (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas marginalis, and Pseudomonas veronii) and group B (Pseudomonas putida). The strains identified as Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum, Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Dickeya chrysanthemi, and Erwinia rhapontici were distinguished by ITS-PCR-RFLP. All isolates belonging to the genera Pectobacterium and Erwinia were responsible for carrot spoilage. This work has led to the development of new strategies for the identification and genotyping of vegetable-spoiling strains of Pseudomonas, Pectobacterium, and Erwinia. This is also the first report describing the occurrence of carrot-spoiling E. rhapontici. Early recognition of spoilage bacteria in vegetables is important for the implementation of effective handling strategies. Pectolytic bacteria may cause considerable financial losses because they account for a large proportion of bacterial rot of fruits and vegetables during storage, transit, and marketing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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