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Old 06-09-2009, 05:00 AM   #1
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Default PubMed: Characterization of airborne microbial communities at a high elevation site a

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Related Articles Characterization of airborne microbial communities at a high elevation site and their potential to act as atmospheric ice nuclei.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jun 5;

Authors: Bowers RM, Lauber CL, Wiedinmyer C, Hamady M, Hallar AG, Fall R, Knight R, Fierer N

Bacteria and fungi are ubiquitous in the atmosphere. The diversity and abundance of airborne microbes may be strongly influenced by atmospheric conditions, or even influence atmospheric conditions themselves by acting as ice nucleators. However, few comprehensive studies have described the diversity and dynamics of airborne bacteria and fungi using culture-independent techniques. We document atmospheric microbial abundance, community composition, and ice nucleation at a high elevation site in northwestern Colorado, USA. We used a standard small-subunit rRNA gene Sanger sequencing approach for total microbial community analysis and a bacterial-specific 16S rRNA barcoded pyrosequencing approach (4,864 sequences total). During the two-week collection period, total microbial abundances were relatively constant, ranging from 9.6 x 10(5) to 6.6 x 10(6) cells m(-3) of air, and the diversity and composition of the airborne microbial communities was also relatively static. Bacteria and fungi were nearly equivalent, and members of the proteobacterial groups Burkholderiales and Moraxellaceae (particularly the genus Psychrobacter) were dominant. These taxa were not always the most abundant in freshly-fallen snow samples collected at this site. Although there was minimal variability in microbial abundances and composition within the atmosphere, the number of biological ice nuclei increased significantly during periods of high relative humidity. However, these changes in ice nuclei numbers were not associated with changes in the relative abundances of the most commonly-studied ice nucleating bacteria.

PMID: 19502432 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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