Access Type

Open Access Embargo

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Yifan Zhang


The increased dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes and their acquisition by clinically relevant microbes in the environmental setting is becoming a global alarming issue. Environmental areas that encompass anthropogenic pressure such as pharmaceutical manufacturing effluents, aquaculture facilities, municipal wastewater systems, chemical industry effluents and animal husbandry facilities are hotspots of ARGs and ARBs. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence, identification, and quantification of class 1 integron (intI1) and common antibiotic resistance genes (Sul2, TetM, blaTEM) in the urban agricultural soil. Quantitative PCR was implemented to determine the abundance of ARGs in the soil. Standardization of intI1 gene copy number (106 copies gram-1) and ARGs (Sul2, TetM, blaTEM) was performed and the absolute abundance of resistance genes was normalized by bacterial cell. Correlation between intI1 and Sul2 gene with significance level of p < 0.05 was observed. This study suggests that ARGs are common in the environment including urban agricultural soil that receives no animal wastes or wastewater. Mobile genetic elements (MGE) may play an important role in spreading ARGs in the environment.