Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University,1
Department of Plant Science, Seoul National University2
The efficacy of ozone micro-bubble water (OMBW) in reducing microbial populations on alfalfa seeds was investigated in this study. We observed the surface of alfalfa seeds using microscopy and found that many cracks and crevices existing on the surface could harbor pathogens. Alfalfa seeds were treated with tap water (TW), micro-bubble water (MBW), ozone water (OW), ozone micro-bubble water (OMBW), and chlorine water (CL) for 5 min, and total microbial population, E. coli and Salmonella spp. colonies were determined. Also, the sterilized seeds were germinated and cultivated for 5 d after sowing to investigate the percentage of germination and the growth of alfalfa sprouts. The treatments with OMBW and CL were most effective in reducing total microbial populations and E. coli was eliminated by OW, OMBW, and CL treatments. CL treatment reduced the percentage of germination and fresh weight of alfalfa sprouts, but OMBW did not cause any negative effects on the germination and growth of alfalfa sprouts. These results indicate that OMBW can be used as an effective sanitizer for eliminating seed-borne pathogens without detrimental effects on seed viability.
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