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Keywords:

  • Coliforms;
  • cucumbers;
  • endophytic bacteria;
  • irrigation water;
  • microbial fruit invasion;
  • treated waste water use;
  • water contamination

Abstract

There is increasing evidence for a significant role of fruits and vegetables in infectious diseases in humans. Their consumption is increasing and environmental factors such as water availability are impacting their production. In this study, adding fertiliser to tap water (TW) increased the microbial load above that found in treated waste water (TWW); coliforms were also introduced. Low numbers of Bacillus spp. were recovered from inside some healthy cucumber fruits. No visible differences were observed between cucumber plants irrigated with TWW or TW or cucumbers with and without endophytic Bacillus spp. This is noteworthy when considering the use of TWW for crop irrigation.