Investigation of bacterial effects of Asian dust events through comparison with seasonal variability in outdoor airborne bacterial community

Jonguk Park, Tomoaki Ichijo, Masao Nasu, Nobuyasu Yamaguchi
Scientific Reports 2016 October 20, 6: 35706
Atmospheric bacterial dispersion with aeolian dust has been reported to have a potential impact on public health and ecosystems. Asian dust is a major aeolian event that results in an estimated 4 million tons of Asian dust particles falling in Japan annually, 3,000-5,000 km away from their source regions. However, most studies have only investigated the effects of Asian dust during dust seasons. Therefore, in this study, outdoor bacterial abundance and community composition were determined by 16S rRNA quantitative PCR and amplicon sequencing, respectively, and compared on Asian and non-Asian dust days (2013-2015; 44 samples over four seasons). Seasonal variations in bacterial abundance of non-Asian dust days were not observed. Bacterial abundance of individual samples collected on non-Asian dust days changed dynamically relative to Asian dust days, with bacterial abundance occasionally reaching those of Asian dust days. The bacterial community composition on non-Asian dust days was rather stable seasonally, and did not differ from that on Asian dust days. These results indicate that bacteria in Asian dust does not immediately influence indigenous bacterial communities at the phylum/class level in distant downwind areas; accordingly, further studies of bacterial communities in downwind areas closer to the dust source are warranted.


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