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Aversion center blackening of muskmelon fruit caused by Pseudomonas oryzihabitans, an opportunistic pathogen of humans and warm-blooded animals

Choi, Okhee, Lee, Yeyeong, Kang, Byeongsam, Bae, Juyoung, Kim, Seunghoe, Kim, Jinwoo
International journal of food microbiology 2019 v.291 pp. 1-4
Pseudomonas oryzihabitans, autumn, desorption, dominant species, food safety, food transport, fruits, genes, humans, matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, muskmelons, pathogenicity, pigmentation, pulp, ribosomal RNA, secondary infection, seeds, South Korea
This is the first report of bacterial center blackening in muskmelon fruit caused by Pseudomonas oryzihabitans, which is known as an opportunistic pathogen of humans and warm-blooded animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the microbiological characteristics of this infection. Bacterial center blackening, which can cause aversion in consumers, was observed in muskmelon fruit in South Korea in the fall of 2017. Symptoms included severe black pigmentation in the pulp surrounding the seeds inside muskmelon fruit. Dark brown pigmentation and gram-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped pseudomonads were consistently recovered from the black pigmented pulp tissue of muskmelons. The symptoms after artificial inoculation were the same as those of the natural infection, while the control fruit exhibited no symptoms of infection. Using pathogenicity tests, analytical profile index (API) tests, whole-cell matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), and 16S rRNA gene and gyrB region sequencing, the dominant species was identified as P. oryzihabitans. The recent outbreak indicates that P. oryzihabitans poses a potential threat to the global production and transportation of muskmelon as well as food safety.