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Open AccessArticle

Elucidating Escherichia Coli O157:H7 Colonization and Internalization in Cucumbers Using an Inverted Fluorescence Microscope and Hyperspectral Microscopy

by Yeting Sun 1,2,†, Dan Wang 2,†, Yue Ma 2, Hongyang Guan 1, Hao Liang 3 and Xiaoyan Zhao 1,2,*
1
College of Food Science, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
2
Beijing Vegetable Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Science, Beijing Key Laboratory of Agricultural Products of Fruits and Vegetables Preservation and Processing, Key Laboratory of Vegetable Postharvest Processing, Ministry of Agriculture and rural affairs, Beijing 100097, China
3
Longda Food Group Company Limited, Shandong, Jinan 265231, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110499
Received: 5 September 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 17 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Food Microbiology)
Contamination of fresh cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) with Escherichia coli O157:H7 can impact the health of consumers. Despite this, the pertinent mechanisms underlying E. coli O157:H7 colonization and internalization remain poorly documented. Herein we aimed to elucidate these mechanisms in cucumbers using an inverted fluorescence microscope and hyperspectral microscopy. We observed that E. coli O157:H7 primarily colonized around the stomata on cucumber epidermis without invading the internal tissues of intact cucumbers. Once the bacterial cells had infiltrated into the internal tissues, they colonized the cucumber placenta and vascular bundles (xylem vessels, in particular), and also migrated along the xylem vessels. Moreover, the movement rate of E. coli O157:H7 from the stalk to the flower bud was faster than that from the flower bud to the stalk. We then used hyperspectral microscope imaging to categorize the infiltrated and uninfiltrated areas with high accuracy using the spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification method, which confirmed the results obtained upon using the inverted fluorescence microscope. We believe that our results are pivotal for developing science-based food safety practices, interventions for controlling E. coli O157:H7 internalization, and new methods for detecting E. coli O157:H7-plant interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: cucumbers; Escherichia coli O157:H7; hyperspectral microscopy; colonization; internalization cucumbers; Escherichia coli O157:H7; hyperspectral microscopy; colonization; internalization
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Sun, Y.; Wang, D.; Ma, Y.; Guan, H.; Liang, H.; Zhao, X. Elucidating Escherichia Coli O157:H7 Colonization and Internalization in Cucumbers Using an Inverted Fluorescence Microscope and Hyperspectral Microscopy. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 499.

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