Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Journal of Hazardous Materials 429 (2022) 128278



U.S. government work


Land application of livestock manure introduces antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) into the soil environment. The objectives of this study were to examine the changes of resistome and mobilome in runoff and soil as a function of setback distance, i.e., the distance between manured soil and surface water, and to quantify the contributions of manure and background soil to the ARGs and MGEs in surface runoff. The resistome and mobilome in runoff and soil from a field-scale plot study were characterized using a high throughput quantitative polymerase chain reaction (HT-qPCR) array. It was estimated that a setback distance of ~40 m is required to reduce the total abundance of ARGs and MGEs in runoff from amended plots to that in control runoff. The resistome and mobilome of the soil in the setback region was not affected by manure-borne ARGs and MGEs. SourceTracker analyses revealed that background soil gradually became the predominant source of the ARGs and MGEs in runoff as setback distance increased. The results demonstrate how manure-borne ARGs and MGEs dissipated in agricultural runoff with increasing setback distance and had limited impacts on the resistome and mobilome of soil within the setback region.