American Chemical Society
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Effects of Trophic Level and Land Use on the Variation of Animal Antibiotic Resistome in the Soil Food Web

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-03, 13:05 authored by Dong Zhu, Jing Ding, Yi-Fei Wang, Yong-Guan Zhu
In recent years, it has been increasingly recognized that soil animals are hidden reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and play a vital role in spreading ARGs in soil ecosystems. However, little is known about the variation of ARGs among different animals in the soil food web and effects of trophic levels and land uses on them. We characterized the antibiotic resistomes of 495 soil animal samples collected from six regions across China, including two different land uses. A total of 265 ARGs were detected in all animal samples, and relative abundances of ARGs in animals were significantly higher than in soils. In addition, significant differences in ARGs were observed among different animal groups. Twelve common ARGs were identified among all animal groups, accounting for 17.4% of total ARGs abundance. A positive and significant correlation was found between δ15N values (trophic level) and total ARGs abundance in animals. The relative abundance of ARGs in the soil food web from arable land was higher than forest land. Changes in soil antibiotics may indirectly affect animal resistome by altering soil ARGs. This study suggests that the risk of ARGs spreading through the food web is greater in arable than in forest ecosystems.