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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Research Project #435184

Research Project: Antibiotic Resistance Gene Quantification from Modern and Historical Soils

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Project Number: 3042-12630-004-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Feb 28, 2023

The objective of the study is to quantify selected antibiotic resistance genes in agriculturally impacted soils and compare antibiotic resistance gene profile and amounts from soils collected over the past 60 years. Using ARS stored soil resources, along with soil samples from other collections, we will be evaluating antibiotic resistance genes in soils. In one set that will be particularly valuable, ARS has a set of soils collected at multiple sites across the Midwest in 1947. This is before the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock production. ARS scientists collected modern soils in 2018 from a subset of these plots, and will compare the numbers and types of resistance genes to determine the changes over time. Additional historical soils from this and other collections will be similarly assayed to provide a broad temporal framework of antibiotic resistance gene presence and concentration over time.

ARS researchers are assembling a collection of historical and modern soil samples, from ARS soil archives and other locations. DNA will be isolated from the soils, and screened for antibiotic resistance genes using a using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction antibiotic resistance gene chip designed and processed by our Cooperator.