Matters Microbial #36: Leafy microbial strangers with benefits

April 18, 2024

Today, Dr. Jeri Barak of the University of Wisconsin Madison joins the #QualityQuorum to chat about how various microbes (some of which can cause disease in humans) can gain access to  plants, sometimes via group behavior.  With media coverage of Salmonella contamination in lettuce, Dr. Barak’s work is especially timely!  She will also discuss what it is like to be a plant pathologist!

Host: Mark O. Martin

Guest: Jeri Barak

Download MM#36 (48 MB .mp3, 66 min)
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  • An overview of ammonite fossils.
  • An article about the amazing glowing petunia.  And here is a second popular article on the Firefly Petunia. Finally, here is a more scientific article describing this achievement.
  • An overview of produce contamination by Salmonella and other pathogens.   Here is another article worth your time.
  • An overview of pathogens to be found in the environment.
  • CDC guidelines and information about bacterial contamination of produce.
  • An absolutely fabulous overview of some of the work done in Dr. Barak’s lab discussed during this episode.  It is a wonderful science-communication with art essay.  A must read for any interest level!
  • A article by Dr. Barak’s group describing how a plant infection can allow human pathogens to proliferate inside of a plant.  
  • Dr. Barak’s faculty website.
  • Dr. Barak’s laboratory website.

Intro music is by Reber Clark

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