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Francis A. Drummond
Vivian C.H. Wu
Shravani Tadepalli
M.E. Camire
Katherine Davis-Dentici
Alfred Bushway
David E. Yarborough
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Francis A. Drummond
Vivian C.H. Wu
Shravani Tadepalli
M.E. Camire
Katherine Davis-Dentici
Alfred Bushway
David E. Yarborough
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World Journal of Microbiology

Salmonella spp. dynamics in wild blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton

Vivian C.H. Wu, Frank Drummond*, Shravani Tadepalli, M.E. Camire, Katherine Davis-Dentici, Alfred Bushway, David E. Yarborough

Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit, USDA-ARS Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA.

University of Maine, School of Biology and Ecology, Orono, ME, USA.

University of Maine, School of Food and Agriculture, Orono, ME, USA.

University of Maine, Professor Emeritus, School of Food and Agriculture, Orono, ME, USA.

University of Maine, Cooperative Extension, Orono, ME, USA.

Accepted 25 January, 2017.

Citation: Wu VCH, Drummond F, Tadepalli S, Camire ME, Davis-Dentici K, Bushway A, Yarborough DE (2017). Salmonella spp. dynamics in wild blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton, World Journal of Microbiology, 4(1): 064-071.

Copyright: © 2017 Wu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract

A six-year field study (2012-2015) was conducted in the two major wild blueberry growing regions in Maine USA, Midcoast and Downeast. This study used data from two cropping cycles (four years) to model the dynamics of Salmonella spp. prevalence in wild blueberry fields (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton). A path diagram based upon structural equation modeling suggests that beyond annual variation, the type of cropping system determined wild blueberry production methods of fertilization and fungicide applications for control of plant pathogens that then both affect the prevalence of Salmonella spp. Fungicide applications have a direct negative effect on Salmonella spp. prevalence and the microbial community on the fruit that positively affects Salmonella spp. prevalence. Fertilizer application has an indirect effect on the presence of Salmonella spp. by determining soil fertility that then determines the blueberry plant nutrient profile. This then determines specific nutrient levels in the plant, especially Cu, K, Mg, Mn, and K. These nutrients (especially Ca, K, and Mg and to a lesser extent Cu, Mn, and Zn) directly affect Salmonella spp. prevalence in a complex mix of indirect and direct, and negative and positive interactions, including the regulation of sugars in the fruit that appears to have a negative effect on Salmonella spp. prevalence. The conceptual model presented in this study generates several new hypotheses to test regarding the ecology of Salmonella spp. in commercial wild blueberry fields in Maine, USA.     

Keywords: Low bush blueberry, wild blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium, foodborne pathogens, food safety, Salmonella, ecology, agricultural management practices.