Antibiotics impact plant traits

From Minden et al.

Antibiotics used in the livestock industry are released to agricultural fields via grazing animals and manure. From there, they may affect human health due to consumption of antibiotic-exposed crop plants or drinking water. Also they may affect the performance of naturally occurring non-target species. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Minden et al. show that antibiotics, even at low concentrations, significantly affect plant traits. Cropland species showed delayed germination and lower biomass allocation, indicating possible yield-effects in farmland fertilized with manure containing antibiotics. Antibiotics may also alter the composition of plant species in natural field margins, due to different species-specific responses, with unknown consequences for higher trophic levels.


Minden, V., Deloy, A., Volkert, A. M., Leonhardt, S. D., & Pufal, G. (2017). Antibiotics impact plant traits, even at small concentrations. AoB PLANTS, 9(2).

About the author


AoB PLANTS is an open-access, online journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of environmental and evolutionary biology. Published by Oxford University Press, AoB PLANTS provides a fast-track pathway for publishing high-quality research, where papers are available online to anyone, anywhere free of charge. Reasons to publish in AoB PLANTS include double-blind peer review of manuscripts, rapid processing time and low open-access charges.