• Rick Meinersmann - ARS Athens, GA
  • Mark Berrang - ARS - Athens, GA
  • Adam Rivers - ARS Gainesville, FL
  • Brian Scheffler - ARS Stoneville, MS
  • Mary Duke - ARS Stoneville, MS
  • Brian Oakley - Western University College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA


Antimicrobial resistance genes are prevalent in agricultural animals life today. It is assumed that antimicrobial resistance genes were scarce in pre-antimicrobial days, but testing this assumption has been difficult.

We are collaborating with the Smithsonian institution to deep sequence the cecal contents of poultry preserved in alcohol and compare them to modern poultry. Our first sample came from a ~5 week old chick collected in 1872. The collection has over 600,000 birds in liquid, however most of them are tropical birds from far-flung places. There were very few domestic chickens preserved and most of them were from the Museum’s collection of birds with developmental deformities. Our first sample was labeled “Double Brained Chicken - 1872”.