• conjugative plasmids;
  • incompatibility groups;
  • antibiotic resistance genes;
  • anthropogenic soil;
  • PCR;
  • Southern hybridization


PCR typing methods were used to assess the presence of plasmids of the incompatibility (Inc) groups IncP, IncN, IncW, IncQ and rolling circle plasmids of the pMV158 type in total DNA extracts from anthropogenic soils from India and Germany. Ten different soils from two different locations in Germany, the urban park Berlin Tiergarten and the abandoned sewage field Berlin-Buch, and from four different locations in India were analysed. PCR amplification of the total DNA extracts revealed the prevalence of IncP-specific sequences in Berlin Buch and Indian soil samples. The detected IncP plasmids contained at least one transfer function, the origin of transfer, oriT. In contrast to IncP-specific sequences, IncQ, IncN, IncW and pMV158-specific sequences were never detected. The presence of ampC, tet (O), ermB, SHV-5, mecA, and vanA antibiotic resistance genes was also tested. Three Indian soil samples irrigated with wastewater contained the ampC gene, whereas the other resistance genes were not found in any of the samples. Detection of IncP trfA2 and oriT sequences by PCR amplification and hybridization is a clear indication that IncP plasmids are prevalent in these habitats. Exogenous plasmid isolation revealed conjugative plasmids belonging to the IncPβ group encoding resistance to ampicillin.