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Annual Variations in the Diversity, Viability, and Origin of Airborne Bacteria
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2010 (English)In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, ISSN 0099-2240, E-ISSN 1098-5336, Vol. 76, no 9, 3015-3025 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The presence of bacteria in aerosols has been known for centuries, but information on their identity and role in dispersing microbial traits is still limited. This study monitored the airborne bacterial community during an annual survey using samples collected from a 25-m tower near the Baltic Sea coast. The number of CFU was estimated using agar plates while the most probable number (MPN) of viable bacteria was estimated using dilution-to-extinction culturing assays (DCAs). The MPN and CFU values produced quantitatively similar results, displaying a pronounced seasonal pattern, with the highest numbers in winter. The most dominant bacteria growing in the DCAs all formed colonies on agar plates, were mostly pigmented (80%), and closely resembled (>97%) previously cultured bacteria based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed on eight occasions during the survey; these revealed a highly diverse community with a few abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and a long tail of rare OTUs. A majority of the cloned sequences (60%) were also most closely related to previously ""cultured"" bacteria. Thus, both culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques indicated that bacteria able to form colonies on agar plates predominate in the atmosphere. Both the DCAs and clone libraries indicated the dominance of bacteria belonging to the genera Sphingomonas sp. and Pseudomonas sp. on several sampling occasions. Potentially pathogenic strains as well as sequences closely resembling bacteria known to act as ice nuclei were found using both approaches. The origin of the sampled air mass was estimated using backward trajectories, indicating a predominant marine source.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 76, no 9, 3015-3025 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-50678DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02092-09ISI: 000276907400039OAI: diva2:382328
authorCount :4Available from: 2010-12-30 Created: 2010-12-30 Last updated: 2010-12-30Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Douglas
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