5.1 Introduction 117

5.2 Diversity of Soft-Rot Bacteria 118

5.2.1 Pectolytic Erwinia spp 119

5.2.2 Pectolytic Fluorescent (PF) Pseudomonads 119

5.3 Factors Affecting the Survival of Soft-Rot Bacteria in Nature 120

5.3.1 Plant Vegetation 120

5.3.2 Temperature and Atmospheric Conditions 121

5.3.3 Latent Infection and Internalization 121

5.4 Enzymatic and Molecular Mechanism of Tissue Maceration by Soft-Rot Bacteria 122

5.4.1 Biochemical Characterization of Pectate Lyase (PL) 122 Analysis of PL Isozymes 122 Production of Other Pectic Enzymes 122

5.4.2 PL as the Principal Tissue-Macerating Factor 123 Transposon Mutagenesis 123 Cloning and Analysis of PL Genes 123

5.4.3 Control of PL Production and Pseudomonas Rot 123 Two-Component Regulatory Gene System 123 Role of Calcium Ions 124 Use of Ion-Chelating Agents for Control of Pseudomonas Rot 125

5.5 Interactions Between Soft-Rot and Human Pathogens on

Fresh Produce 125

5.5.1 Synergistic Interactions 126

5.5.2 Antagonistic Interactions 126

5.6 Selected Farm Practices for Control of Both Soft-Rot and Human Pathogens 127

References 128

Global production and international trade of fresh fruits and vegetables have increased very sharply during the past two decades, mainly because of

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