Biodiversity of Aerosolized Particles (Final Report)
Director's research initiative, Oct 2012-Oct 2014
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ADELPHI MD
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An overarching objective of this Directors Research Initiative DRI is to explore the use of state-of-the-art DNA-sequencing techniques to begin to answer important questions about aerosolized microbes and other biological particles in the atmosphere, such as how these bioparticles vary with time, location, and air-mass trajectories and their associated humidity, rainfall, and land surface types. Our initial plan, to collect the air samples using Davis Rotating Unit for Monitoring DRUM samplers, failed to obtain sufficient DNA for sequencing. Methods were developed to isolate DNA from high-volume hi-vol samplers. We then obtained approximately 150 air samples with hi-vol samplers and 850 samples with PS-1 air samplers of the type commonly used by the US Army Public Health Command. Both samplers can obtain sufficient DNA for sequencing in times as short as 2 h. We computed air-mass trajectories, rainfall humidity, and temperature along each trajectory using Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory HYSPLIT. These trajectories were used in picking the samples to sequence. DNA amplification and purification protocols were developed to target specific regions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes for sequencing.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology