Microplastics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are two kinds of emerging contaminants with frequent detection in coastal regions. However, rare information on co-occurrence of microplastics and ARGs in coastal recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) is available. This study performed field sampling and laboratory analysis to investigate the distribution of microplastics and ARGs in a typical RAS farm. The results showed that microplastics were detected in all water samples with the abundances ranging from 58 to 72 items/m3. Absolute abundances of total 10 ARGs in water samples ranged from 3.24 × 105 to 7.83 × 105 copies/mL while those on microplastic samples were in the range of 1.59 × 109-1.83 × 109 copies/g. Microbial communities of microplastics and water showed significant difference at both phylum and genus levels. Microbial community diversity of microplastics was higher than that of water. ARGs including tetG, qnrS, sul1, sul2, and ermF possessed relatively more active relationships with bacterial community in water and on microplastics of the RAS farm. The results suggested that microplastics might be an important reservoir of ARGs in RAS farms. The findings of this study will provide useful information on pollution control and environmental management for both microplastics and ARGs in coastal aquaculture systems.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Nov 30, 2019
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