Analyzing “Hot Spots” Created by Electron Beam (eBeam) Technology
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Electron beam (eBeam) technology is commonly used to sterilize food and food ingredients to inactivate microbial pathogens. In eBeam processing, electrons are accelerated to the speed of light in a linear accelerator, before being showered over a product, resulting in microbial inactivation. It causes multiple single and double strand breaks in the DNA of microbial pathogens and other organisms that may be present. If the cell undergoes numerous double-strand DNA breaks, the bacterium is considered inactivated because it can no longer multiply. When exposed to electron beam (eBeam) irradiation it has been observed that bacterial genomE undergoes fragmentation. However, it is unclear whether there are “hot spots” in the genome for these DNA breakages. It is important to understand whether “hotspots” exist that help create these breakages when DNA encounters electrons. These studies can lead to a better understanding of the effects eBeam has on bacterial DNA. This will also help to determine how bacterial cells respond to eBeam irradiation. E. coli and Salmonella cells were exposed to a kill dose of eBeam irradiation to measure differences in physical damage. The experimental objective was to determine whether eBeam creates random DNA breakages or if there are “hot spots” where the double stranded DNA breaks occur.
double strand breaks
Perez Gomez, Aracely Anahi (2019). Analyzing “Hot Spots” Created by Electron Beam (eBeam) Technology. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from