Aims: To isolate and characterize multiple antibiotic resistance plasmids found in swine manure and test for plasmid-associated genetic markers in soil following manure application to an agricultural field.
Methods and Results: Plasmids were isolated from an erythromycin enrichment culture that used liquid swine manure as an inoculant. Plasmids were transformed into Escherichia coli DH10β for subsequent characterization. We isolated and DNA sequenced a 22 102-bp plasmid (pMC2) that confers macrolide, and tetracycline resistances, and carries genes predicted to code for mercury and chromium resistance. Conjugation experiments using an pRP4 derivative as a helper plasmid confirm that pMC2 has a functional mobilization unit. PCR was used to detect genetic elements found on pMC2 in DNA extracted from manure amended soil.
Conclusions: The pMC2 plasmid has a tetracycline-resistant core and has acquired additional resistance genes by insertion of an accessory region (12 762 bp) containing macrolide, mercury and chromium resistance genes, which was inserted between the truncated DDE motifs within the Tn903/IS102 mobile element.
Significance and Impact of the Study: Liquid swine manure used for manure spreading contains multiple antibiotic resistance plasmids that can be detected in soil following manure application.