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Temporal patterns of variability for prokaryotic and eukaryotic diversity in the urban air of Madrid (Spain)

AuthorsNúñez, Andrés; Amo de Paz, Guillermo; Rastrojo, Alberto ; Ferencova, Zuzana; Gutiérrrez-Bustillo, A. Montserrat; Alcamí, Antonio ; Moreno, Diego A. ; Guantes, Raúl
KeywordsBioaerosol monitoring
Airborne bacteria and fungi
High-throughput DNA sequencing
Environmental factors
Urban air
Issue Date10-Sep-2019
CitationAtmospheric Environment 217 (2019)
AbstractAlthough many microorganisms are ubiquitously present in the air, airborne microbial communities have been much less characterized than those in soil or aquatic environments. Besides its ecological importance, detection and monitoring of the wide diversity of these aerosolized microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and pollen) is relevant for understanding allergy and disease outbreaks, especially in highly populated cities. In this study, we describe the simultaneous biodiversity of bacteria, fungi and plants present in the urban atmosphere of Madrid (Spain) along different seasonal periods, using DNA sequencing. Sampling in two different locations (downtown and peri-urban) we found that changes in the composition of each community are mainly driven by environmental factors, rather than by the features of the specific sampling microenvironments. While pollen particles are dominated by a few taxa characteristic of each season, bacteria and fungi show a high diversity but stable core communities along the year. The prokaryotic core is governed by soil and leaf surface bacteria, with predominance of Actinobacteria (Frankiales and Micrococcales) and Alphaproteobacteria (Sphingomonadales, Rhodobacterales, Rhizobiales and Acetobacterales). Fungal diversity is characterized by the steady presence of members of Capnodiales and Pleosporales. Pathogenic bacterial and fungal taxa were also detected across the year. We also correlated the airborne biodiversity with environmental variables. Air temperature has a strong influence on the community composition of bacteria, while pollen and fungi seasonal variations are mainly correlated with precipitation. Our results contribute to the characterization of airborne prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities in urban areas and show the suitability of this method for biosurveillance strategies.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2019.116972
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2019.116972
issn: 1873-2844
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