Journal article

Termite mound formation reduces the abundance and diversity of soil resistomes

Zhen-Zhen Yan, Qing-Lin Chen, Chao-Yu Li, Thi Nguyen Bao-Anh, Yong-Guan Zhu, Ji-Zheng He, Hang-Wei Hu

ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2021

Abstract

Termites are pivotal ecosystem engineers in tropical and subtropical habitats, where they construct massive nests ('mounds') that substantially modify soil properties and promote nutrient cycling. Yet, little is known about the roles of termite nesting activity in regulating the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the major Global Health challenges. Here, we conducted a large-scale (> 1500 km) investigation in northern Australia and found distinct resistome profiles in termite mounds and bulk soils. By profiling a wide spectrum of ARGs, we found that the abundance and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) were significantly lower in termite mounds than in bulk soils (P..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the Melbourne Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth, and Environmental Sciences (TrACEES) Platform - Soil Node for the help with soil physicochemical characterization. We thank Qing Xie, School of Agriculture and Food, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, for the assistance with sample processing. This research was funded by the Australian Research Council (DP17103628; DP210100332; DE210100271).