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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Biology




"Biosolids are organic matter produced at the end of sewage treatment process. It has been shown that during sewage treatment, resistant bacteria are selected because of the presence of antibiotics and their byproducts. These resistant bacteria are more likely to transfer resistance genes to other bacteria. In the current study, we examined Cheney biosolids for the presence of drug resistant bacteria and the role of these bacteria in transfer of resistance genes to others. We screened 100 bacteria for drug resistance and found that 68% of the isolates were resistant to two or more drugs tested. Plasmids were separated from the resistant bacteria and 13.2% of them showed the presence of plasmids. These resistance plasmids were introduced into E. coli MM294 to screen for the presence of antibiotic resistance genes. Plasmids were isolated from the transformants and 77.7% of the transformants showed the presence of plasmids with similar size and mobility on an agarose gel. The plasmids extracted from the transformants were digested with a restriction enzyme, EcoRI to verify the presence of multiple plasmids in the samples. The resistant bacteria (13.2%) that showed the presence of plasmid were tested whether they were conjugative or mobilizable type. Unfortunately, none of the isolates were onjugative or mobilizable plasmid. In short, Cheney biosolids do contain drug resistant bacteria, so there is a chance that these resistant bacteria will transfer their resistance genes to other bacteria present in biosolids"--Document.


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