S-Space Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) Dept. of Public Health (보건학과) Journal Papers (저널논문_보건학과)
Falling bacterial communities from the atmosphere
- Woo, Cheolwoon; Yamamoto, Naomichi
- Issue Date
- Environmental Microbiome. 2020 Dec 10;15(1):22
- Bioprecipitation; Biosedimentation; Bioaerosols; 16S rRNA gene; Aerobiology; Aero-microbiology
Bacteria emitted into the atmosphere eventually settle to the pedosphere via sedimentation (dry deposition) or precipitation (wet deposition), constituting a part of the global cycling of substances on Earth, including the water cycle. In this study, we aim to investigate the taxonomic compositions and flux densities of bacterial deposition, for which little is known regarding the relative contributions of each mode of atmospheric deposition, the taxonomic structures and memberships, and the aerodynamic properties in the atmosphere.
Precipitation was found to dominate atmospheric bacterial deposition, contributing to 95% of the total flux density at our sampling site in Korea, while bacterial communities in precipitation were significantly different from those in sedimentation, in terms of both their structures and memberships. Large aerodynamic diameters of atmospheric bacteria were observed, with an annual mean of 8.84 μm, which appears to be related to their large sedimentation velocities, with an annual mean of 1.72 cm s− 1 for all bacterial taxa combined. The observed mean sedimentation velocity for atmospheric bacteria was larger than the previously reported mean sedimentation velocities for fungi and plants.
Large aerodynamic diameters of atmospheric bacteria, which are likely due to the aggregation and/or attachment to other larger particles, are thought to contribute to large sedimentation velocities, high efficiencies as cloud nuclei, and large amounts of precipitation of atmospheric bacteria. Moreover, the different microbiotas between precipitation and sedimentation might indicate specific bacterial involvement and/or selective bacterial growth in clouds. Overall, our findings add novel insight into how bacteria participate in atmospheric processes and material circulations, including hydrological circulation, on Earth.