E3S Web Conf.
Volume 187, 2020The 13th Thai Society of Agricultural Engineering International Conference (TSAE 2020)
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Postharvest and Food Engineering|
|Published online||08 September 2020|
Evaluation of subsurface irrigation on microorganism contamination of romaine lettuce
1 University of Arizona, Department of Biosystems Engineering. 1177 E. 4th Street, Shantz Building, Room 403. Tucson, AZ, USA 85721.
2 University of Arizona, Department of Environmental Science. 1177 E. Lowell Street, Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences Building, Room 211. Tucson, AZ, USA 85721.
The use of contaminated water to irrigate crops by surface, sprinkler, or conventional drip irrigation represents a significant public health concern due to the presence of multiple microbial pathogens associated with gastrointestinal disease. In this study, Escherichia coli and MS2 bacteriophage were used as microbial surrogates to evaluate the contamination of romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia) using bottom watering pots simulating a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system in a greenhouse. The primary goal was to determine whether the exposure of lettuce plants to E. coli and MS2 would result in detectable levels of these microorganisms associated with the edible portions of plants. Plants were grown in bottom watering pots and were irrigated the last twelve days before harvesting with contaminated water containing E. coli and MS2 phage at 109 CFU/ml and 1011 PFU/ml, respectively. Harvested plants were processed to determine if E. coli or MS2 was associated with the plant surfaces or within the plant tissues. None of the samples was positive for either E. coli or MS2 bacteriophage, suggesting that subsurface irrigation systems effectively reduce the risk of produce-contamination with bacterial and viral pathogens.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.