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Antibiotics, while humans didn’t discover them until 1928, occur naturally in the environment and have been for thousands of years, but after they were discovered, they were altered from their natural state, they were concentrated to create today’s modern medicine. The issue is when these man-made antibiotics are then reintroduced into the environment and make their way into the waterways through discharge from waste treatment plants and run-off from farms. These antibiotics then alter the microbial communities that they interact with, but we don’t know how far the reach of the antibiotics go. Utilizing 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomic sequencing, we took a transect of soil samples going away from the Esopus Creek looking at the microbial communities and their structure. Using the 16S rRNA samples we compared the different distances and noticed that there is a significant difference between microbial community richness and evenness and distance from the creek. To look deeper we used the shotgun metagenomic samples to look at any and all antibiotic resistant genes within the samples and found that the abundance of the genes were also significantly linked to distance. Finally we compared the number and relative abundance of antibiotic resistant genes to the richness and evenness of the microbial communities and found overall there was a significant correlation between the samples.
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Benincasa, Christopher J., "Effects of Distance and Antibiotics from a Waterway has on the Soil Microbiome" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 17.
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