Effect of metal-rich sewage sludge application on the bacterial communities of Grasslands

T. Barkay, S. C. Tripp, B. H. Olson

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69 Scopus citations


The effect of long-term application of heavy metal-laden sewage sludge on the total heterotrophic aerobic and the cadmium-resistant soil bacterial communities was studied. Gram-positive bacteria were completely absent from resistant communities. These findings suggest that this group is highly susceptible to Cd. Shannon's diversity indices estimated for total communities did not reveal negative effects on the communities that developed in the presence of sludge. However, Cd-resistant communities isolated from long-term sludge-amended soils were more diverse than the resistant communities from a control sample, suggesting that adaptation to Cd as a stressor had occurred in the presence of sludge constituents. This higher diversity was attributed to Cd resistance in pseudomonads and gram-negative fermenters. Resistance did not develop by dissemination of Cd resistance plasmids, because these were rarely detected in the genomes of resistant strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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