Horizontal Gene Transfer of an IncP1 Plasmid to Soil Bacterial Community Introduced by Escherichia coli through Manure Amendment in Soil Microcosms

Gonçalo Macedo*, Asmus K. Olesen, Lorrie Maccario, Lucia Hernandez Leal, Peter V. D. Maas, Dick Heederik, Dik Mevius, Søren J. Sørensen, Heike Schmitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The quantification and identification of new plasmid-acquiring bacteria in representative mating conditions is critical to characterize the risk of horizontal gene transfer in the environment. This study aimed to quantify conjugation events resulting from manure application to soils and identify the transconjugants resulting from these events. Conjugation was quantified at multiple time points by plating and flow cytometry, and the transconjugants were recovered by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and identified by 16S rRNA sequencing. Overall, transconjugants were only observed within the first 4 days after manure application and at values close to the detection limits of this experimental system (1.00-2.49 log CFU/g of manured soil, ranging between 10-5 and 10-4 transconjugants-to-donor ratios). In the pool of recovered transconjugants, we found amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) of genera whose origin was traced to soils (Bacillus and Nocardioides) and manure (Comamonas and Rahnella). This work showed that gene transfer from fecal to soil bacteria occurred despite the less-than-optimal conditions faced by manure bacteria when transferred to soils, but these events were rare, mainly happened shortly after manure application, and the plasmid did not colonize the soil community. This study provides important information to determine the risks of AMR spread via manure application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11398-11408
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume56
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • antibiotic resistance gene
  • cattle manure
  • lateral gene transfer
  • mating
  • soil microbiome

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