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Vertical distribution of airborne bacterial communities in an Asian-dust downwind area, Noto Peninsula

Maki, Teruya, Hara, Kazutaka, Kobayashi, Fumihisa, Kurosaki, Yasunori, Kakikawa, Makiko, Matsuki, Atsushi, Chen, Bin, Shi, Guangyu, Hasegawa, Hiroshi, Iwasaka, Yasunobu
Atmospheric environment 2015 v.119 pp. 282-293
Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria, aerosols, air, alpha-Proteobacteria, altitude, atmospheric chemistry, bacteria, bacterial communities, climate change, ecosystems, genes, human health, nucleotide sequences, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, troposphere, Japan, Sea of Japan
Bacterial populations transported from ground environments to the atmosphere get dispersed throughout downwind areas and can influence ecosystem dynamics, human health, and climate change. However, the vertical bacterial distribution in the free troposphere was rarely investigated in detail. We collected aerosols at altitudes of 3000 m, 1000 m, and 10 m over the Noto Peninsula, Japan, where the westerly winds carry aerosols from continental and marine areas. During the sampling period on March 10, 2012, the air mass at 3000 m was transported from the Chinese desert region by the westerly winds, and a boundary layer was formed below 2000 m. Pyrosequencing targeting 16S rRNA genes (16S rDNA) revealed that the bacterial community at 3000 m was predominantly composed of terrestrial bacteria, such as Bacillus and Actinobacterium species. In contrast, those at 1000 m and 10 m included marine bacteria belonging to the classes Cyanobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. The entire 16S rDNA sequences in the clone libraries were identical to those of the terrestrial and marine bacterial species, which originated from the Chinese desert region and the Sea of Japan, respectively. The origins of air masses and meteorological conditions contribute to vertical variations in the bacterial communities in downwind atmosphere.