Mechanisms of Plant Colonization by Human Pathogenic Bacteria: An Emphasis on the Roots and Rhizosphere

Nicola J. Holden*, Leighton Pritchard, Kathryn Wright, Ian K. Toth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the Enterobacteriaceae have the capacity to adapt to a wide variety of environments and can be isolated from a range of host species across biological kingdoms. Fresh produce (fresh fruit and vegetables) are increasingly recognized as a major vehicle of transmission of bacteria that are pathogenic to humans, through the food chain. Rather than simply contaminating plant surfaces, there is a growing body of evidence to show that these bacteria actively interact with plants and can colonize them as alternative hosts. This review draws together evidence from studies that investigate proven and potential mechanisms involved in colonization of plants by human pathogenic enterobacteria, with an emphasis on colonization of the rhizosphere and root system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Microbial Ecology of the Rhizosphere
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781118296172
Publication statusPrint publication - 18 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Fresh produce
  • Human pathogenic enterobacteria
  • Plant colonization
  • Rhizosphere
  • Root systems
  • Zoonoses


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