Recent Published Articles

Vermicompost: In situ retardant of antibiotic resistome accumulation in cropland soils


Keqiang Zhang , Meirui Mu , Fengxia Yang , Bingjun Han , Guisheng Tian

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2023.05.032

Received February 02, 2023,Revised , Accepted May 22, 2023, Available online May 30, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 277-286

The dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in soil has become a global environmental issue. Vermicomposting is gaining prominence in agricultural practices as a soil amendment to improve soil quality. However, its impact on soil ARGs remains unclear when it occurs in farmland. We comprehensively explored the evolution and fate of ARGs and their hosts in the field soil profiles under vermicompost application for more than 3 years. Vermicompost application increased several ARG loads in soil environment but decreased the high-risk bla-ARGs (blaampC, blaNDM, and blaGES-1) by log(0.04 – 0.43). ARGs in soil amended with vermicompost primarily occurred in topsoil (approximately 1.04-fold of unfertilized soil), but it is worth noting that their levels in the 40–60 cm soil layer were the same or even less than in the unfertilized soil. The microbial community structure changed in soil profiles after vermicompost application. Vermicompost application altered the microbial community structure in soil profiles, showing that the dominant bacteria (i.e., Proteobacteria, Actinobacteriota, Firmicutes) were decreased 2.62%–5.48% with the increase of soil depth. A network analysis further revealed that most of ARG dominant host bacteria did not migrate from surface soil to deep soil. In particular, those host bacteria harboring high-risk bla-ARGs were primarily concentrated in the surface soil. This study highlights a lower risk of the propagation of ARGs caused by vermicompost application and provides a novel approach to reduce and relieve the dissemination of ARGs derived from animals in agricultural production.

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