Control of Postharvest Bacterial Soft Rot by Gamma Irradiation and its Potential Modes of Action

  • Jeong, Rae-Dong (Research Division for Biotechnology, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Chu, Eun-Hee (Research Division for Biotechnology, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) ;
  • Park, Duck Hwan (Applied Biology Program, Division of Bioresource Sciences, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Park, Hae-Jun (Research Division for Biotechnology, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
  • Received : 2015.08.20
  • Accepted : 2015.11.05
  • Published : 2016.04.01


Gamma irradiation was evaluated for its in vitro and in vivo antibacterial activity against a postharvest bacterial pathogen, Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora (Ecc). Gamma irradiation in a bacteria cell suspension resulted in a dramatic reduction of the viable counts as well as an increase in the amounts of DNA and protein released from the cells. Gamma irradiation showed complete inactivation of Ecc, especially at a dose of 0.6 kGy. In addition, scanning electron microscopy of irradiated cells revealed severe damage on the surface of most bacterial cells. Along with the morphological changes of cells by gamma irradiation, it also affected the membrane integrity in a dose-dependent manner. The mechanisms by which the gamma irradiation decreased the bacterial soft rot can be directly associated with the disruption of the cell membrane of the bacterial pathogen, along with DNA fragmentation, results in dose-dependent cell inactivation. These findings suggest that gamma irradiation has potential as an antibacterial approach to reduce the severity of the soft rot of paprika.


Supported by : Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


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