Co-occurrence of genes for antibiotic resistance and arsenic biotransformation in paddy soils

Yongguan Zhu , Huiling Cui , Dong Zhu , Longjun Ding , Yifei Wang , Jianqiang Su , Guilan Duan


Received December 19, 2021,Revised , Accepted February 16, 2022, Available online February 27, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 701-711

Paddy soils are potential hotspots of combined contamination with arsenic (As) and antibiotics, which may induce co-selection of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and As biotransformation genes (ABGs), resulting in dissemination of antimicrobial resistance and modification in As biogeochemical cycling. So far, little information is available for these co-selection processes and specific patterns between ABGs and ARGs in paddy soils. Here, the 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and high-throughput quantitative PCR and network analysis were employed to investigate the dynamic response of ABGs and ARGs to As stress and manure application. The results showed that As stress increased the abundance of ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs), resulting in dissemination risk of antimicrobial resistance. Manure amendment increased the abundance of ABGs, enhanced As mobilization and methylation in paddy soil, posing risk to food safety. The frequency of the co-occurrence between ABGs and ARGs, the host bacteria carrying both ARGs and ABGs were increased by As or manure treatment, and remarkably boosted in soils amended with both As and manure. Multidrug resistance genes were found to have the preference to be co-selected with ABGs, which was one of the dominant co-occurring ARGs in all treatments, and manure amendment increased the frequency of Macrolide-Lincosamide-Streptogramin B resistance (MLSB) to co-occur with ABGs. Bacillus and Clostridium of Firmicutes are the dominant host bacteria carrying both ABGs and ARGs in paddy soils. This study would extend our understanding on the co-selection between genes for antibiotics and metals, also unveil the hidden environmental effects of combined pollution.

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