Development of a decontamination method to inactivate Acidovorax citrulli on Cucurbitaceae seeds without loss of seed viability

Seulgi Lee, Hoikyung Kim, Larry R. Beuchat, Jee Hoon Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Acidovorax citrulli is a plant pathogen causing bacterial fruit blotch in Cucurbitaceae family. Applying high concentration of disinfectants to seeds containing plant pathogen may substantially decrease the germination rate of seeds. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a hurdle technology which can inactivate plant pathogens without decreasing seed viability. This study was conducted to develop a decontamination method to inactivate the plant pathogen Acidovorax citrulli on Cucurbitaceae seeds by sequential treatments with aqueous chlorine dioxide (ClO2), drying, and dry heat. RESULTS: The maximum ClO2 concentration that did not lower germination rates of cucumber, honeydew melon, and watermelon seeds was ca. 100 μg mL−1 of ClO2 for 5 min. Optimal incubation conditions for drying seeds that had been treated with aqueous ClO2 were determined as 25 °C and 43% relative humidity (RH) for 48 h. The maximum dry-heat temperature that did not reduce germination rates of seeds, which had been treated with ClO2 and dried at 25 °C, was 60 °C at 43% RH for 24 h. When seeds containing A. citrulli (6.4–7.0 log CFU g−1) were treated with aqueous ClO2 (50 μg mL−1, 5 min), dried (25 °C, 43% RH, 24 h), and dry heated (60 °C, 43% RH, 24 h), the pathogen was inactivated to below the detection limit from all three seed types (<−0.5 log CFU g−1). CONCLUSION: The decontamination conditions to inactivate A. citrullii from Cucurbitaceae seeds without decreasing the seed viability were determined (sequential treatment with ClO2 [50 μg mL−1, 5 min], dried [25 °C, 43% RH, 24 h], and dry heated [60 °C, 43% RH, 24 h]). The results of this study may also be applicable to other plant pathogens on other types of seeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5734-5739
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • Acidovorax citrulli
  • Cucurbitaceae seeds
  • bacterial fruit blotch
  • seed decontamination
  • sequential treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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