Identification of environmental plasmid-bearing Vibrio species isolated from polluted and pristine marine reserves of Hong Kong, and resistance to antibiotics and mercury

Ruifu Zhang, Yanling Wang, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fifty environmental isolates of Vibrio species were isolated from water samples of Mai Po Nature Reserve and the Cape d'Aguilar Marine Reserve in Hong Kong and screened for the presence of plasmid. Mai Po is a wastewater-impacted area while the Cape d'Aguilar Marine Reserve is pristine natural marine water. Plasmid was found in Vibrio isolates from both sites at similar frequencies and each site showed distinctive plasmid profiles. These plasmid-bearing Vibrio isolates were identified as different species of the Vibrio genus by both biochemical test and subsequently full-length 16S rRNA sequences. Antibiotic resistance test showed that all these plasmid-bearing Vibrio isolates showed multiple resistance to 21 antibiotics tested. In addition, selective isolates also showed tolerance to 10 μM Hg2+ in culture medium and they generally harbored large plasmid(s) (>30 kb). Our results show that the high frequency of plasmid in Vibrio species of both polluted and pristine environments may be ecologically important to the survival of these bacteria in the environment. The specific functioning of the cryptic plasmids remains the focus of current investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Volume89
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Marine environment
  • Mercury resistance
  • Plasmid
  • Pollution
  • Vibrio spp.

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