Detection and phylogenetic analysis of coastal bioaerosols using culture dependent and independent techniques

R. Urbano, B. Palenik, C. J. Gaston, K. A. Prather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bioaerosols are emerging as important yet poorly understood players in atmospheric processes. Microorganisms can impact atmospheric chemistry through metabolic reactions and can potentially influence physical processes by participating in ice nucleation and cloud droplet formation. Microbial roles in atmospheric processes are thought to be species-specific and potentially dependent on cell viability. Using a coastal pier monitoring site as a sampling platform, culture-dependent (i.e. agar plates) and culture-independent (i.e. DNA clone libraries from filters) approaches were combined with 18S rRNA and 16S rRNA gene targeting to obtain insight into the local atmospheric microbial composition. From 13 microbial isolates and 42 DNA library clones, a total of 55 sequences were obtained representing four independent sampling events. Sequence analysis revealed that in these coastal samples two fungal phyla, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, predominate among eukaryotes while Firmicutes and Proteobacteria predominate among bacteria. Furthermore, our culture-dependent study verifies the viability of microbes from all four phyla detected through our culture-independent study. Contrary to our expectations and despite oceanic air mass sources, common marine planktonic bacteria and phytoplankton were not typically found. The abundance of terrestrial and marine sediment-associated microorganisms suggests a potential importance for bioaerosols derived from beaches and/or coastal erosion processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalBiogeosciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 21 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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