Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 8182–8193 | Cite as

Dissemination of resistance genes in duck/fish polyculture ponds in Guangdong Province: correlations between Cu and Zn and antibiotic resistance genes

  • Qin Zhou
  • Mianzhi Wang
  • Xiaoxia Zhong
  • Peng Liu
  • Xiying Xie
  • Junyi Wangxiao
  • Yongxue SunEmail author
Research Article


Duck/fish polyculture farming is a typical farming model in the Pearl River delta in southern China. We examined soil, water, and sediment samples from three duck-fish farms in Guangdong Province in September and December 2014. We determined the abundance of three metal resistance genes, 16S rDNA, and 23 antibiotic resistance genes encoding resistance to tetracycline, sulfonamides, quinolones, chloramphenicol, and β-lactamases. Microbial community structure was quantified by Illumina high-throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA genes. We found a prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes and the sul1, sul2, tetA, tetM, aac(6′)-Ib, and floR genes were the most abundant. Levels of Cu and Zn were significantly correlated with numerous ARG types and sul2, floR, and tetM were identified as potential antibiotic resistance gene indicators. Cu levels were significantly and positively correlated with the relative abundance of sul3, tetT, tetW, qnrB, qnrS, fexB, sul1, sul2, tetM, and qnrA. Zn was significantly correlated to relative abundance of sul2, sul3, tetM, tetA, tetT, tetW, qnrA, qnrB, qnrS, aac(6′)-Ib, qepA, blaSHV, cmlA, floR, fexA, cfr, and fexB. The levels of Acinetobacter, Brevibacillus, and Wautersiella showed significant positive correlations with metal resistance genes as well as qnrB, oqxA, oqxB, and blaSHV (p > 0.8). Sphingobacterium, Flavobacterium, Acidothermus, and Corynebacterium had significant correlations with abundance of tetracycline resistance genes, sulfonamide resistance genes, blaTEM, blaCTX, and cfr (p > 0.8). Sphingobacterium, Flavobacterium, Acidothermus, and Corynebacterium were most abundant in soil samples while Acinetobacter, Brevibacillus, and Wautersiella were most abundant in water samples. Dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in aquaculture environments is extensive and tracing their origins is necessary to establish risk assessment methods required for aquatic environmental protection.


Duck/fish polyculture Co-selection of metal Distinct transmission of ARGs 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31772803), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China [2016A030311029], and National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0501300).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qin Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mianzhi Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiaoxia Zhong
    • 3
  • Peng Liu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiying Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junyi Wangxiao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongxue Sun
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.National Laboratory of safety Evaluation (Environmental Assessment) of Veterinary DrugsSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.National Risk Assessment Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance of Animal Original BacteriaSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Veterinary Pharmaceutics Development and Safety EvaluationSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouChina

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