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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Variations in the structure of airborne bacterial communities in Tsogt-Ovoo of Gobi desert area during dust events

Teruya Maki, Yasunori Kurosaki, Kazunari Onishi, Kevin C Lee, Stephen B Pointing, Dulam Jugder, Norikazu Yamanaka, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Masato Shinoda
Air Quality, Atmosphere, & Health 2017, 10 (3): 249-260
28356997
Asian dust events transport the airborne bacteria in Chinese desert regions as well as mineral particles and influence downwind area varying biological ecosystems and climate changes. However, the airborne bacterial dynamics were rarely investigated in the Gobi desert area, where dust events are highly frequent. In this study, air samplings were sequentially performed at a 2-m high above the ground at the sampling site located in desert area (Tsogt-Ovoo of Gobi desert; Mongolia 44.2304°N, 105.1700°E). During the dust event days, the bacterial cells and mineral particles increased to more than tenfold of concentrations. MiSeq sequencing targeting 16S ribosomal DNA revealed that the airborne bacteria in desert area mainly belonged to the classes Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Bacilli, Alpha-proteobacteria, Beta-proteobacteria, and Gamma-proteobacteria. The bacterial community structures were different between dust events and non-dust events. The air samples collected at the dust events indicated high abundance rates of Alpha-proteobacteria, which were reported to dominate on the leaf surfaces of plants or in the saline lake environments. After the dust events, the members of Firmicutes (Bacilli) and Bacteroidetes, which are known to form endospore and attach with coarse particles, respectively, increased their relative abundances in the air samples. Presumably, the bacterial compositions and diversities in atmosphere significantly vary during dust events, which carry some particles from grassland (phyllo-sphere), dry lake, and sand surfaces, as well as some bacterial populations such as Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes maintain in the atmosphere for longer time.

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