Variability of airborne bacteria in an urban Mediterranean area (Thessaloniki, Greece)

Genitsaris, Savvas, Stefanidou, Natassa, Katsiapi, Matina, Kormas, Konstantinos A., Sommer, Ulrich and Moustaka-Gouni, Maria (2017) Variability of airborne bacteria in an urban Mediterranean area (Thessaloniki, Greece) Atmospheric Environment, 157 . pp. 101-110. DOI 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.03.018.

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Supplementary data:

Abstract

Highlights:
• Airborne bacterial abundance, biomass and composition were studied in Thessaloniki.
• The highest values of bacterial abundance were recorded during summer.
• No significant seasonal differences were found between summer and winter.
• Air temperature was found to significantly affect the airborne bacterial community.
• The majority of OTUs were affiliated to taxa derived from soil and wastewater.
Abstract:
The abundance, biomass and the taxonomic composition of the total airborne bacterial communities in a coastal urban area of Northeastern Mediterranean Sea were examined. In total, 27 air samples were collected across three seasons from a sampling point of approximately 30 m altitude in the center of the city. The abundance and biomass were determined with the use of epifluorescent microscopy, while the taxonomic composition was characterized by next-generation sequencing methods. Overall, the highest values of bacterial abundance were recorded during summer, with values exceeding abundances recorded in other urban sites across Europe, reaching 41 × 104 cells m−3. Out of 6 core meteorological parameters, only air temperature was found to significantly affect the abundance and biomass of airborne bacteria. Concerning the taxonomic composition of the airborne bacterial community, the group of Proteobacteria was the most diverse, with 47% of the total number of OTUs belonging to them, followed by Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The most dominant OTU belonged to γ-Proteobacteria, and was closely affiliated to Pseudomonas sp., a taxon commonly found to actively participate in the formation of ice-nuclei in the atmosphere. Finally, 19 OTUs were shared between all seasons and were found to be among the most dominant overall. The majority of these OTUs were affiliated to genera from soil and wastewater origin, while several were affiliated to genera that include known or opportunistic pathogens. Yet, only rare OTUs were affiliated to taxa with possible marine origin (e.g. Synechococcus sp.). The results showed that the atmosphere of the study area harbors a diverse and abundant bacterial community.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Biodiversity; Pyrosequencing; 16S rRNA gene; Prokaryotes; Bioaerosols; Coastal
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.03.018
ISSN: 1352-2310
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 12:19
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:51
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/37121

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