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Characteristics of ARG-carrying plasmidome in the cultivable microbial community from wastewater treatment system under high oxytetracycline concentration

Abstract

Studies on antibiotic production wastewater have shown that even a single antibiotic can select for multidrug resistant bacteria in aquatic environments. It is speculated that plasmids are an important mechanism of multidrug resistance (MDR) under high concentrations of antibiotics. Herein, two metagenomic libraries were constructed with plasmid DNA extracted from cultivable microbial communities in a biological wastewater treatment reactor supplemented with 0 (CONTROL) or 25 mg/L of oxytetracycline (OTC-25). The OTC-25 plasmidome reads were assigned to 72 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) conferring resistance to 13 types of antibiotics. Dominant ARGs, encoding resistance to tetracycline, aminoglycoside, sulfonamide, and multidrug resistance genes, were enriched in the plasmidome under 25 mg/L of oxytetracycline. Furthermore, 17 contiguous multiple-ARG carrying contigs (carrying ≥ 2 ARGs) were discovered in the OTC-25 plasmidome, whereas only nine were found in the CONTROL. Mapping of the OTC-25 plasmidome reads to completely sequenced plasmids revealed that the conjugative IncU resistance plasmid pFBAOT6 of Aeromonas caviae, carrying multidrug resistance transporter (pecM), tetracycline resistance genes (tetA, tetR), and transposase genes, might be a potential prevalent resistant plasmid in the OTC-25 plasmidome. Additionally, two novel resistant plasmids (containing contig C301682 carrying multidrug resistant operon mexCD-oprJ and contig C301632 carrying the tet36 and transposases genes) might also be potential prevalent resistant plasmids in the OTC-25 plasmidome. This study will be helpful to better understand the role of plasmids in the development of MDR in water environments under high antibiotic concentrations.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Ye Deng and Dr. Jie Feng for their help in statistical analysis.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (21437005).

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Contributions

Yu Zhang, Yanhong Shi, and Min Yang designed research; Yanhong Shi, Hong Zhang performed research; Yanhong Shi, Zhe Tian, Yu Zhang, and Min Yang analyzed data and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Yu Zhang.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Shi, Y., Zhang, H., Tian, Z. et al. Characteristics of ARG-carrying plasmidome in the cultivable microbial community from wastewater treatment system under high oxytetracycline concentration. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102, 1847–1858 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-8738-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-8738-6

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance genes
  • Plasmids
  • Metagenomic sequencing
  • High antibiotic concentration