Scanning Electron Microscopy of Native Biofilms On Mung Bean Sprouts

Scanning electron microscopy of native biofilms on mung bean sprouts.
Can J Microbiol. 2003 Jan;49(1):45-50.
Fett WF, Cooke PH.
Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA.

Native biofilms present on the adaxial surface of cotyledons of mung bean sprouts (Vigna radiata) were studied by use of scanning electron microscopy. Biofilms were abundant on the cotyledon surfaces and were comprised of rod-shaped bacteria, cocci-shaped bacteria, or yeasts, often with one type of microbe predominant. In contrast to our earlier study of biofilms on green sprouts (alfalfa, clover, broccoli, and sunflower), yeast and cocci were abundant on mung bean. Filamentous fungi were not observed. Sheet-like or fibrillar material (presumably composed of secreted microbial polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids) fully or partially covered the biofilms. Biofilms up to 5 mm in length were observed, and some biofilms were comprised of more than just a monolayer of microbial cells. Native biofilms on sprout surfaces undoubtedly play an important role in the ecology of plant epiphytic microbes and may also afford protected sites for plant and human bacterial pathogens.