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Validation of the Hirst-type spore trap for simultaneous monitoring of prokaryotic and eukaryotic biodiversities in urban air samples by next-generation sequencing

AuthorsNúñez, Andrés; Paz, Guillermo A. de; Ferencova, Zuzana; Rastrojo, Alberto ; Guantes, Raúl; García, Ana M. ; Alcamí, Antonio ; Gutiérrez-Bustillo, A. Montserrat; Moreno, Diego A.
KeywordsMethods in aerobiology
Airborne biodiversity
Hirst-type spore trap
Bioaerosol monitoring
Next-generation sequencing (NGS)
Issue Date28-Apr-2017
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationApplied and Environmental Microbiology 83 (2017)
AbstractPollen, fungi, and bacteria are the main microscopic biological entities present in outdoor air, causing allergy symptoms and disease transmission and having a significant role in atmosphere dynamics. Despite their relevance, a method for monitoring simultaneously these biological particles in metropolitan environments has not yet been developed. Here, we assessed the use of the Hirst-type spore trap to characterize the global airborne biota by high-throughput DNA sequencing, selecting regions of the 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer for the taxonomic assignment. We showed that aerobiological communities are well represented by this approach. The operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of two traps working synchronically compiled >87% of the total relative abundance for bacterial diversity collected in each sampler, >89% for fungi, and >97% for pollen. We found a good correspondence between traditional characterization by microscopy and genetic identification, obtaining more-accurate taxonomic assignments and detecting a greater diversity using the latter. We also demonstrated that DNA sequencing accurately detects differences in biodiversity between samples. We concluded that high-throughput DNA sequencing applied to aerobiological samples obtained with Hirst spore traps provides reliable results and can be easily implemented for monitoring prokaryotic and eukaryotic entities present in the air of urban areas.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1128/AEM.00472-17
issn: 1098-5336
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