Development of Livestock Waste Management Technologies to Prevent the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment

Development of Livestock Waste Management Technologies to Prevent the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment - Dr. Xu Li
Contact: Xu Li
Department: • Civil Engineering
Role(s) Needed:
  • Research Assistant

Students Needed:
• Undergraduate

Antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) pose an increasing risk to public health. The prolific use of antibiotics in agriculture results in an abundance of ARB in livestock manure which, when applied to fields, can increase the spread of ARB and ARG in the environment. However, manure management strategies may help to reduce ARB and ARG in manure and subsequently mitigate the risk of spread during later application of manure to fields. This project focuses on two manure management strategies, composting and stockpiling, to investigate the efficacy of each method to reduce ARB and ARG.

The undergraduate researcher will work with a graduate student to prepare media, extract DNA and perform qPCR to monitor the concentrations of ARG in manure compost and stockpiles over time. This project may be of interest to students who want to learn more about manure management and applied microbiology, as it will provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience on with standard culture-based methods, DNA extraction techniques and qPCR assays to measure concentrations of ARGs.

For more information, please contact Dr. Xu Li: xuli@unl.edu. This opportunity is also listed on the UCARE website.