Phyllosphere of staple crops under pig manure fertilization, a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes

Shu-Yi-Dan Zhou, Dong Zhu, Madeline Giles, Xiao-Ru Yang, Tim Daniell, Roy Neilson, Yong-Guan Zhu (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    56 Citations (Scopus)


    In China, the common use of antibiotics in agriculture is recognized as a potential public health risk through the increasing use of livestock derived manure as a means of fertilization. By doing so this may increase the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from animals, to soils and plants. In this study two staple crops (rice and wheat) were investigated for ARG enrichment under differing fertilization regimes. Here, we applied 4 treatments, no fertilizer, mineral fertilizer, clean (reduced antibiotic practice) and dirty (current antibiotic practice) pig manure, to soil microcosms planted with either rice or wheat, to investigate fertilization effects on the abundance of ARGs in the respective phyllospheres. For both rice and wheat, samples were collected after two separate fertilization periods. In total, 162 unique ARGs and 5 mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were detected from all rice and wheat samples. The addition of both clean and dirty manure, enhanced ARG abundance significantly when compared to no fertilizer treatments (P < 0.001), though clean manure enriched ARGs to a lesser extent than dirty manure, in all rice and wheat samples (P < 0.001). The classes of ARGs recorded were different between crops, with wheat samples having a higher ARG diversity than rice. These results revealed that staple crops in China such as rice and wheat may be a reservoir for ARGs when clean and dirty pig manure is used for fertilization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-235
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Issue numberPart A
    Early online date20 May 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


    • Agriculture/methods
    • Animals
    • Anti-Bacterial Agents/analysis
    • Bacteria/drug effects
    • China
    • Crops, Agricultural/microbiology
    • Drug Resistance, Bacterial/genetics
    • Fertilizers/analysis
    • Genes, Bacterial/genetics
    • Interspersed Repetitive Sequences/genetics
    • Manure/analysis
    • Minerals
    • Oryza/microbiology
    • Soil/chemistry
    • Soil Microbiology
    • Soil Pollutants/analysis
    • Swine
    • Triticum/microbiology


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