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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Genome-resolved insight into the reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes in aquatic microbial community

Goodarzi, Zahra; Asad, Sedigheh; Mehrshad, Maliheh


Aquatic microbial communities are an important reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). However, distribution and diversity of different ARG categories in environmental microbes with different ecological strategies is not yet well studied. Despite the potential exposure of the southern part of the Caspian Sea to the release of antibiotics, little is known about its natural resistome profile. We used a combination of Hidden Markov model (HMM), homology alignment and a deep learning approach for comprehensive screening of the diversity and distribution of ARGs in the Caspian Sea metagenomes at genome resolution. Detected ARGs were classified into five antibiotic resistance categories including prevention of access to target (44%), modification/protection of targets (30%), direct modification of antibiotics (22%), stress resistance (3%), and metal resistance (1%). The 102 detected ARG containing metagenome-assembled genomes of the Caspian Sea were dominated by representatives of Acidimicrobiia, Gammaproteobacteria, and Actinobacteria classes. Comparative analysis revealed that the highly abundant, oligotrophic, and genome streamlined representatives of taxa Acidimicrobiia and Actinobacteria modify the antibiotic target via mutation to develop antibiotic resistance rather than carrying extra resistance genes. Our results help with understanding how the encoded resistance categories of each genome are aligned with its ecological strategies.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2022, volume: 12, number: 1, article number: 21047

Authors' information

Goodarz, Zahra
University of Tehran
Asad, Sedigheh
University of Tehran
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

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