The effect of manure application on the distribution and accumulation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in tissue of root vegetables remains unclear, which poses a bottleneck in assessing the health risks from root vegetables due to application of manure. Towards this goal, experiments were conducted in pots to investigate the distribution and bioaccumulation of ARGs in carrot tissues due to application of pig manure. The 144 ARGs targeting nine types of antibiotics were quantified by high throughput qPCR in the soil and plant samples. The rhizosphere was a hot spot for ARGs enrichment in the manured soil. The abundance, diversity, and bioaccumulation factors of ARGs in the phyllosphere were significantly higher than those of carrot root skin and tuber. Manure application increased bioaccumulation of 12 ARGs and 2 MGEs in carrot tuber with 124 the highest factor. The application of manure increased transfer of 10 ARGs and 3 MGEs from carrot skin to inner tuber by factors of 0.1–11.8. The average gene copy number of ARGs of per gram carrot root was about 4.8 × 104 and 1.1 × 106 in the control and the manured treatment, respectively. Children and adults may co-ingest 2.7 × 107 and 3.2 × 107 of ARGs copies/d from carrots grown with pig manure, using estimated human intake values. However, peeling may reduce the intake of ARGs by 28–91% and of MGEs by 46–59%. In conclusion, the application of pig manure increased the accumulation of ARGs in the skin of carrots, whereas peeling was an effective strategy to reduce the risk.
Zhi Mei, Leilei Xiang, Fang Wang*, Min Xu, Yuhao Fu, Ziquan Wang, Syed A. Hashsham, Xin Jiang, James M. Tiedje. Bioaccumulation of Manure-borne Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Carrot and its Exposure Assessment Environmental International
2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106830. (Open access).