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Christine Dodd

Chair in Food Microbiology, Faculty of Science


  • workRoom B30 Food Sciences
    Sutton Bonington Campus
    Sutton Bonington
    LE12 5RD
  • work0115 951 6163
  • fax0115 951 6162


Christine's research interests centre on the characterisation of microbial populations at the species and sub-species levels using cultural and molecular approaches and in understanding the factors influencing their composition. Current research areas include:

  • Understanding the contribution of non-starter microflora to product characteristics in natural and controlled fermentations.

Current projects: the role of non-starter microflora in contributing to flavour development and flora dynamics in

mould ripened blue cheeses like Stilton; key organisms involved in the natural fermentation of ogi

  • The factors which influence microbial survival in foods and other environments.

Current projects: desiccation tolerance of Salmonella

Research Summary

My research has been directed at applying molecular techniques to problems relevant to the food industry.

One area of interest is in the contribution of non-starter microflora to the characteristics of fermented foods. Use of techniques such as 16S rDNA PCR-DGGE allow the complex flora that develop in many controlled and natural fermentations to be examined and this coupled with traditional isolation methods allows an understanding to be gained of which flora may be key to producing specific product characteristics and thus control product quality. Examples of work in this area are

Gkatzionis, K., Hewson, L., Hollowood, T., Hort, J., Dodd, C. E.R., Linforth R.S.T. (2013) Effect of Yarrowia lipolytica on blue cheese odour development: Flash profile sensory evaluation of microbiological models and cheeses. International Dairy Journal 30: 8-13

Gkatzionis, K., Linforth, R. S. T., Dodd, C. E. R. (2009) Volatile profile of Stilton cheeses: differences between zones within a cheese and dairies. Food Chemistry 113: 506-512

Oguntoyinbo, F. and Dodd, C.E.R. (2010) Bacterial dynamics during the spontaneous fermentation of cassava dough in gari production. Food Control 21:306-312.

Olaoye, O.A. and Dodd, C.E.R. (2010) Evaluation of bacteriocinogenic Pediococcus acidilactici as protective culture in the preservation of tsire, a traditional Nigerian stick meat. Journal of Food Safety 30: 867-888

The ability of bacteria to survive the stresses encountered in food and food processing environments is a second area of current research. This includes the factors in foods (aw, pH, temperature stress) which select certain organisms to survive from a population and the differences between strains which provides improved stress resistance. An example of work in this area is

Margas, E., Alstrom-Moorea, A., Dodd, C., Holah, J. (2011) Salmonella survival in low aw environments. International Congress on Engineering and Food.

Selected Publications

Past Research

How bacteria behave in real environment compared to their behaviour in laboratory grown conditions. Development of techniques (cryosectioning, microscopy and rRNA directed and antibody-linked probes) for the detection of bacterial growth in situ in biological matrices and to examine the influence of microenvironments in a matrix on bacterial growth (Ercolini, D., Hill, P.J. and Dodd C.E.R. (2003) Bacterial community structure and location in Stilton cheese. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69, 3540-3548; Ercolini, D., Hill, P.J. and Dodd C.E.R. (2003) Development of a fluorescence in situ hybridization method for cheese using a 16S rRNA probe. Journal of Microbiological Methods 52, 267- 271).

Examination of the population structure of pathogenic bacteria and relating this to source of isolation. Tracking routes of cross contamination of enteric pathogens in poultry production and pork, red meat and poultry processing and bakery and chill food industries (eg Warriner K., Aldsworth, T.G., Kaur, S. and Dodd, C.E.R. (2002) Cross-contamination of carcasses and equipment during pork processing. Journal of Applied Microbiology 93, 169‑177; Richards, P.J., Wu, S., Tinker, D.B., Howell, M.V. and Dodd, C.E.R. (2011). Microbial Quality of Venison Meat at Retail in the UK in Relation to Production Practices and Processes, In Game Meat Hygiene in Focus. Eds. Paulsen, P. Smulders FJM, Vodansky M, Winkelmayer R. pp 113-119. Wageningen Academic Publishers ND).

The ability of bacteria to survive the stresses encountered in food processing. Examination of the expression of the rpoS regulon under stress conditions. This led to a new hypothesis of bacterial responses to stress the suicide response which changes the perspective of why exponential phase cells are more sensitive to sub-lethal injury (Dodd et al. 1997 Inimical processes: bacterial self-destruction and sub-lethal injury. Trends in Food Science and Technology 8 238-241; Aldsworth, T.G., Sharman R.L. & Dodd, C.E.R. 1999 Bacterial suicide through stress. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 56, 378-383; Dodd C.E.R. (2005) Factors affecting stress response. In Understanding Pathogen Behaviour Ed Griffiths, M. pp 115-124. Woodhead Publishing Ltd; Cambridge UK).

Development of a novel multiplex primer system for differentiation and toxin typing of Staphylococcus aureus strains (Sharma. N.K., Rees C.E.D., & Dodd, C.E.R. 2000 Development of a single-reaction multiplex PCR toxin typing assay for Staphylococcus aureus strains. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 66, 1347-1353).

School of Biosciences

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Nr Loughborough
LE12 5RD, UK

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