Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) associated extracellular antibiotic resistance genes in activated sludge along the AAO process : Distribution and microbial secretors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Li Wang
  • Li Yuan
  • Zheng-Hao Li
  • Xin Zhang
  • Guo-Ping Sheng

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number151575
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Volume816
Online published9 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2022

Abstract

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are important sources of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Increasing attention has been paid to extracellular ARGs in cell-free form due to their horizontal gene transfer via transformation. However, the fate of the adsorbed form of extracellular ARGs that exist in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of activated sludge in WWTP remains largely unknown. Herein, seven EPS-associated ARGs along the anaerobic-anoxic-aerobic (AAO) process were quantified using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results show that the absolute abundances of EPS-associated ARGs were 0.69–4.52 logs higher than those of cell-free ARGs. There was no significant difference in the abundances of EPS-associated ARGs along the AAO process. Among these target genes, the abundances of EPS-associated sul genes were higher than those of EPS-associated tet and bla genes. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were identified as the major secretors of EPS-associated ARGs, and they may play an important role in the proliferation of extracellular ARGs. Moreover, the transformation efficiencies of EPS-associated ARGs were 3.55–4.65 logs higher than those of cell-free ARGs, indicating that EPS-associated ARGs have higher environmental risks. These findings have advanced our understanding of EPS-associated ARGs and are useful for the control and risk assessment of ARGs in WWTPs.

Research Area(s)

  • Extracellular antibiotic resistance genes (eARGs), Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), Microbial community, Municipal wastewater treatment plants

Citation Format(s)

Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) associated extracellular antibiotic resistance genes in activated sludge along the AAO process : Distribution and microbial secretors. / Wang, Li; Yuan, Li; Li, Zheng-Hao; Zhang, Xin; Leung, Kenneth Mei Yee; Sheng, Guo-Ping.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 816, 151575, 10.04.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review