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Comprehensive analysis of different adhesives in aerobiological sampling using optical microscopy and high-throughput DNA sequencing

Rojo, Jesús, Núñez, Andrés, Lara, Beatriz, Sánchez-Parra, Beatriz, Moreno, Diego A., Pérez-Badia, Rosa
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.240 pp. 441-450
Cupressaceae, Olea, Platanus, Poaceae, Quercus, adhesives, cyclohexanes, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, light microscopy, petrolatum, pollen, silicone, solvents
The standardization and unification of the procedures to analyze and quantify the airborne pollen concentrations are very important topics. In this work, the effectiveness of the two most used adhesives in aerobiological sampling, silicone prepared with cyclohexane solvent (Silicone) and petroleum jelly (Vaseline), was compared under outdoor conditions. This comparison was carried out using the traditional method based on the identification and quantification by optical microscopy (OM) of the airborne pollen and the novel methodology by high-throughput sequencing analysis (HTS). Globally, the results from both methods of analysis (OM and HTS) showed a good agreement between the two adhesives tested regarding the abundance of the main pollen types present in the samples: Cupressaceae, Olea, Poaceae, Platanus, Quercus. We concluded that the results from both adhesives are comparable data. Furthermore, the comparisons between methodologies, OM vs. HTS, showed that both techniques can accurately identify the most abundant pollen types in the atmosphere for the studied periods, with a good agreement of their relative abundances especially when the airborne pollen diversity is low but showing some divergences as the number of pollen types increases.