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Title: The effect of season and terrestrial biome on the abundance of bacteria with plant growth-promoting traits in the lower atmosphere

Recent studies indicate that airborne bacteria follow biogeographical distributions that are influenced by the underlying terrestrial biomes. Nonetheless, dynamics of bacterial fluxes between different terrestrial biomes and the atmosphere and their implications for terrestrial ecology are not well understood. This study examined how season and three different terrestrial biomes affect the abundance of culturable bacteria with three types of plant growth-promoting traits (PGPTs; phosphate-solubilization, siderophore-production, indoleacetic acid production) in the lower atmosphere. Air samples (180 L) were collected onto Petri dishes containing one of three different agar media for cultivating bacteria with the above-named PGPT in replicates of five above three distinct terrestrial biomes (aspen-forest, sagebrush-steppe, and suburban; Pocatello, ID, USA). Air was sampled once per week for three consecutive weeks during each of four seasons (autumn 2014 to summer 2015). Sequence libraries (16S rRNA gene) were also generated from air collected at each site during each sampling event. All three types of bacteria were present in the lower atmosphere above all terrestrial biomes during all seasons, but their abundance (P < 0.05) fluctuated with season, and the abundance of phosphate-solubilizers and siderophore-producers fluctuated with the interaction of biome and season (P < 0.05). Cultured bacteria with PGPTs represented 13more » families; these families were also represented by 28.3–61.3 % of sequences in each of the 36-sequence libraries derived from air samples. Lastly, results of this first survey of airborne bacteria with PGPTs provide evidence that they may be ubiquitous in the lower atmosphere through which their transport to new habitats, particularly those in early successional stages, may impact ecosystem development.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Idaho State Univ., Pocatello, ID (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences; Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Idaho State Univ., Pocatello, ID (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NSF DEB 1241069; AC0576RL01830
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0393-5965
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; plant growth-promoting bacteria; terrestrial biome; 16S rRNA gene metagenomics; indoleacetic acid production; siderophore-production; phosphate-solubilization
OSTI Identifier: