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Bioaerosol Biomonitoring: Sampling Optimisation for Molecular Microbial Ecology

Ferguson, Robert MW and Garcia-Alcega, Sonia and Coulon, Frederic and Dumbrell, Alex J and Whitby, Corinne and Colbeck, Ian (2019) 'Bioaerosol Biomonitoring: Sampling Optimisation for Molecular Microbial Ecology.' Molecular Ecology Resources, 19 (3). 672 - 690. ISSN 1755-098X

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Abstract

Bioaerosols (or biogenic aerosols) have largely been overlooked by molecular ecologists. However, this is rapidly changing as bioaerosols play key roles in public health, environmental chemistry, and the dispersal ecology of microbes. Due to the low environmental concentrations of bioaerosols, collecting sufficient biomass for molecular methods is challenging. Currently, no standardised methods for bioaerosol collection for molecular ecology research exist. Each study requires a process of optimisation, which greatly slows the advance of bioaerosol science. Here, we evaluated air filtration and liquid impingement for bioaerosol sampling across a range of environmental conditions. We also investigated the effect of sampling matrices, sample concentration strategies, and sampling duration on DNA yield. Air filtration using polycarbonate filters gave the highest recovery, but due to the faster sampling rates possible with impingement, we recommend this method for fine scale temporal/spatial ecological studies. We found that in order to prevent bias for the recovery of Gram‐positive bacteria, the matrix for impingement should be phosphate buffered saline. The optimal method for bioaerosol concentration from the liquid matrix was centrifugation. However, we also present a method using syringe filters for rapid in‐field recovery of bioaerosols from impingement samples, without compromising microbial diversity for High Throughput Sequencing approaches. Finally, we provide a resource that enables molecular ecologists to select the most appropriate sampling strategy for their specific research question.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioaerosol sampling, Biomonitoring, Airborne Microorganisms, Next Generation Sequencing, filters, impingement
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 13:29
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2019 04:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24506

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