Profile of Inhalable Bacteria in PM 2.5 at Mt. Tai, China: Abundance, Community, and Influence of Air Mass Trajectories

Abstract : Bacteria are ubiquitous in the near-surface atmosphere where they constitute an important component of aerosols with the potential to affect climate change, ecosystems, atmospheric process and human health. Limitation in tracking bacterial diversity accurately has thus far prevented the knowledge of airborne bacteria and their pathogenic properties. We performed a comprehensive assessment of bacterial abundance and diverse community in PM2.5 collected at Mt. Tai, via high-throughput sequencing and real-time PCR. The samples exhibited a high microbial biodiversity and complex chemical composition. The dominating populations were gram-negative bacteria including Burkholderia, Delftia, Bradyrhizobium, and Methylobacterium. The PM mass concentration, chemical composition, bacterial concentration and community structure varied under the influence of different air-mass trajectories. The highest mass concentration of PM2.5 (61 μg m-3) and major chemical components were recorded during periods when marine southeasterly air masses were dominant. The local terrestrial air masses from Shandong peninsula and its adjacent areas harbored highest bacterial concentration loading (602 cells m-3) and more potential pathogens at the site. In contrast, samples influenced by the long-distance air flow from Siberia and Outer Mongolia were found to have a highest richness and diversity as an average, which was also marked by the increase of dust-associated bacteria (Brevibacillus and Staphylococcus). The primary research may serve as an important reference for the environmental microbiologist, health workers, and city planners.
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Caihong Xu, Min Wei, Jianmin Chen, Chao Zhu, Jiarong Li, et al.. Profile of Inhalable Bacteria in PM 2.5 at Mt. Tai, China: Abundance, Community, and Influence of Air Mass Trajectories. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Elsevier, 2019, 168, pp.110-119. ⟨10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.10.071⟩. ⟨hal-02460329⟩

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