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E coli

Posted by smallaxe (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 9, 07 at 8:32

I have been curious as to how e coli has become systemic in plants. Is it just in certain plants? In the leaves, or all the way into the fruit?
If any one has any insight to this I would appreciate hearing about it. Thank you in advance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: E coli

e coli has become systemic in plants

Could you please elaborate on "systemic in plants"?

The only situations I have heard about is contamination of surfaces. Some surfaces are reported to be difficult to wash sufficiently to decontaminate. I have read that some spinach surfaces may be especially difficult to wash but the source of this is popular media and subject to the usual doubts.

RE: E coli

Thank you Albert,

"systemic in plants", from my understanding is that the bacteria is actually taken into the plants and survives inside of the living tissue becoming a part of the system.

I first heard it on the news in January or so of this year. Then a series of articles on food safety in a fruit growers magazine, said the same thing. Neither one did any follow up or provided an indication as to how this happens.
Plants have mechanisms in place to prevent bacteria from entering and living inside them, is what I've always thought. E-coli being infectious to plant and animal seems strange as well. Hence my questions:)
thanks again, .rick.

RE: E coli

There are some articles about this to be found using Google.
I read that infection with other plant pathogens enhances the ability of E.coli to enter the internal tissues of the plant and multiply- this going hand in hand with the production of glucose that sometimes accompanies injury.
Also, it is believed that plant pathogens, which may harbour antibiotic-resistant genes can transfer these genes to E.coli in plant tissues.

I had not heard of this before- it goes to show how important it is for not only consumers, but also the growers to maintain sanitary conditions for the crops!

Here is a link:

RE: E coli

Thank you Gemuse,
That is exactly the type of info I have been looking for since I heard the news that day. You are obviously better at Google than I.
If I read this correctly the E coli enters the plant as a decaying mechanism on the surface of dead tissue, rather than a disease in a living organism. I was under the impression that e coli was circulating throughout the plant, surviving on who knows what.
I found it interesting though that the research team believe it may survive to another generation through seed.
much appreciated, .rick.

RE: E coli

I don't think it could circulate through the plant, aren't seive plates supposed to filter them out?

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