Targeted metagenomics reveals inferior resilience of farm soil resistome compared to soil microbiome after manure application

Gonçalo Macedo*, H.P.J. van Veelen, Lucia Hernandez-Leal, Peter van der Maas, Dick Heederik, Dik Mevius, Alex Bossers, Heike Schmitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Application of animal manure to soils results in the introduction of manure-derived bacteria and their antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) into soils. ResCap is a novel targeted-metagenomic approach that allows the detection of minority components of the resistome gene pool without the cost-prohibitive coverage depths and can provide a valuable tool to study the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment. We used high-throughput sequencing and qPCR for 16S rRNA gene fragments as well as ResCap to explore the dynamics of bacteria, and ARGs introduced to soils and adjacent water ditches, both at community and individual scale, over a period of three weeks. The soil bacteriome and resistome showed strong resilience to the input of manure, as manuring did not impact the overall structure of the bacteriome, and its effects on the resistome were transient. Initially, manure application resulted in a substantial increase of ARGs in soils and adjacent waters, while not affecting the overall bacterial community composition. Still, specific families increased after manure application, either through the input of manure (e.g., Dysgonomonadaceae) or through enrichment after manuring (e.g., Pseudomonadaceae). Depending on the type of ARG, manure application resulted mostly in an increase (e.g., aph(6)-Id), but occasionally also in a decrease (e.g., dfrB3) of the absolute abundance of ARG clusters (FPKM/kg or L). This study shows that the structures of the bacteriome and resistome are shaped by different factors, where the bacterial community composition could not explain the changes in ARG diversity or abundances. Also, it highlights the potential of applying targeted metagenomic techniques, such as ResCap, to study the fate of AMR in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145399
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021


  • AMR
  • Cattle
  • Dairy
  • Field
  • Land application
  • Slurry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Targeted metagenomics reveals inferior resilience of farm soil resistome compared to soil microbiome after manure application'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this