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The Role of Curli and Cellulose in the Transport and Survival of Escherichia Coli on a Central New York Dairy Farm

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  9th International Drainage Symposium held jointly with CIGR and CSBE/SCGAB Proceedings, 13-16 June 2010  IDS-CSBE-100161.(doi:10.13031/2013.32141)
Authors:   Anthony E Salvucci, Mara Elton, Larry D Geohring, Brian K Richards, Anthony G Hay, Julie D Siler, Wei Zhang, Lorin D Warnick, Tammo S Steenhuis
Keywords:   Escherichia Coli, Curli, Cellulose, Rdar, Transport

Enterobacterial pathogens such as Escherichia coli are persistently deposited in the environment through the spreading of manure wastes onto agricultural soils, representing serious water quality and human health concerns. In this experiment, E. coli isolates were collected from a dairy farm in Central New York at three distinct locations: (i) cow housing, (ii) calf housing, and (iii) field drain (tile) effluent. These environmental E. coli isolates were analyzed for the cell surface components cellulose and curli, traits that have been linked to increased environmental survival and transport through soil. Our results showed a high amount of diversity amongst E. coli isolates at each spatial location. Isolates collected from cow housing and calf housing displayed highly variable curli and cellulose-producing community profiles from one sampling week to another. However, isolates collected from the drain tile effluent consistently displayed similar curli and cellulose production communities over all sampling dates. These results indicate that the subsurface soil and presence of drain tiles tend to select for a certain subset of E. coli strains, perhaps better adapted for environmental survival and/or transport.

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