Transmission Routes of the Microbiome and Resistome from Manure to Soil and Lettuce

Yuepeng Sun, Daniel Snow, Harkamal Walia, Xu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The land application of animal manure can introduce manure microbiome and resistome to croplands where food crops are grown. The objective of this study was to characterize the microbiome and resistome on and in the leaves of lettuce grown in manured soil and identify the main transmission routes of microbes and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from soil to the episphere and endosphere of lettuce. Shotgun metagenomic results show that manure application significantly altered the composition of the microbiome and resistome of surface soil. SourceTracker analyses indicate that manure and original soil were the main source of the microbiome and resistome of the surface soil and rhizosphere soil, respectively. Manure application altered the microbiome and resistome in the episphere of lettuce (ADONIS p < 0.05), and surface soil accounted for μ81% of the microbes and μ62% of the ARGs in episphere. Manure application had limited impacts on the microbiome and resistome in the endosphere (ADONIS p > 0.05). Our results show that manure-borne microbes and ARGs reached the episphere primarily through surface soil and some epiphytic microbes and ARGs further entered the endosphere. Our findings can inform the development of pre- and postharvest practices to minimize the transmission of manure-borne resistome from food crops to consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11102-11112
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 17 2021


  • lettuce
  • manure
  • microbiome
  • resistome
  • soil
  • transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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