Article

Seasonal Variation in Airborne Microbial Concentrations and Diversity at Landfill, Urban and Rural Sites

University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Sciences, KUOPIO, Finland.
CLEAN - Soil Air Water (Impact Factor: 1.84). 07/2008; 36(7):556 - 563. DOI: 10.1002/clen.200700179

ABSTRACT Microbes are present everywhere in outdoor air. However, the general characterization of outdoor air mycobiota and bacterial flora is incomplete. In this study, seasonal variations in outdoor air microbial concentrations and differences between a landfill, urban and rural sites were compared. Samples were collected monthly for a period of one year. Airborne dust samples were collected onto polyvinyl chloride filters. Filter samples were analyzed for ergosterol, and 14 species or assay groups of fungi and for the bacterial genus Streptomyces by using quantitative PCR. Viable bacteria and fungi were collected with a cascade impactor twice each month from the three sampling sites. The concentrations in the different sampling sites varied depending on the species. The concentrations of Penicillium and Aspergillus species were significantly higher in the waste center compared with the other sites, while the concentration of Cladosporium spp. was highest in the rural area. The highest concentrations of Streptomyces and Cladosporium species were observed in warmer weather periods. Similar observations were made for ergosterol. Group and species seasonal variation was less distinct for Penicillium and Aspergillus. According to the present results, both season and environment are determinants of microbial communities in outdoor air.

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