Project 2: Microbial populations and pathogens in irrigation water sources
       
     
Objectives
       
     
Expected outcomes
       
     
Industry benefits
       
     
Research activities
       
     
Project personnel
       
     
Partner organisations
       
     
Project 2: Microbial populations and pathogens in irrigation water sources
       
     
Project 2: Microbial populations and pathogens in irrigation water sources

Aim

To profile and monitor microbial contamination in agricultural irrigation water from diverse sources and investigate irrigation water applications that influence contamination with microbial pathogens. To raise awareness of links between environmental and spatial sources of contamination in irrigation water used for fresh produce.

Objectives
       
     
Objectives

Characterise and monitor bacterial, fungal, algal and protozoan diversity in irrigation water from a range of sources using next-generation sequencing

Determine spatial and temporal trends in the microbial contamination of irrigation water

Identify irrigation water sources and applications that influence contamination of fresh produce with microbial pathogens

Expected outcomes
       
     
Expected outcomes

Recommendations for pathogen testing of irrigation water

Environmental and water quality dataset for Australian agricultural irrigation water

Increased understanding of conditions leading to fresh produce contamination arising from irrigation water

Industry benefits
       
     
Industry benefits

This project will provide actionable guidance to industry on high-risk conditions surrounding irrigation water. It will assist businesses to undertake more effective risk management

Research activities
       
     
Research activities

Literature review of current on-farm practices for the management of irrigation water, common sources of contamination for irrigation water and equipment, and the likelihood of contaminated irrigation water leading to food-borne pathogen outbreaks.

Sample irrigation water and equipment from a range of field sites and subsequent profiling for microbial diversity and pathogen abundance.

Assessment of correlations between microbial populations and water quality.

Project personnel
       
     
Project personnel

Emily WHITE, PhD Student

Dr Floris VAN OGTROP, Chief Investigator

Dr Neil WILSON, Chief Investigator

Dr Hannah SASSI, Post-Doctoral Associate

A/Prof Channah Rock, Auxiliary supervisor