González-Toril, E., Osuna, S., Viúdez-Moreiras, D., Navarro-Cid, I., Toro, S. D., Sor, S., . . . Aguilera, Á. Impacts of saharan dust intrusions on bacterial communities of the low troposphere. Scientific Reports, 10, 6837 (2020). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-63797-9.
We have analyzed the bacterial community of a large Saharan dust event in the Iberian Peninsula and, for the first time, we offer new insights regarding the bacterial distribution at different altitudes of the lower troposphere and the replacement of the microbial airborne structure as the dust event receeds. Samples from different open-air altitudes (surface, 100 m and 3 km), were obtained onboard the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) C-212 aircrafts. Samples were collected during dust and dust-free air masses as well two weeks after the dust event. Samples related in height or time scale seems to show more similar community composition patterns compared with unrelated samples. The most abundant bacterial species during the dust event, grouped in three different phyla: (a) Proteobacteria: Rhizobiales, Sphingomonadales, Rhodobacterales, (b) Actinobacteria: Geodermatophilaceae; (c) Firmicutes: Bacillaceae. Most of these taxa are well known for being extremely stress-resistant. After the dust intrusion, Rhizobium was the most abundant genus, (40–90% total sequences). Samples taken during the flights carried out 15 days after the dust event were much more similar to the dust event samples compared with the remaining samples. In this case, Brevundimonas, and Methylobacterium as well as Cupriavidus and Mesorizobium were the most abundant genera. © 2020, The Author(s).