Want biodiversity? Look no further than the air around you. It could be teeming with more than 1,800 types of bacteria, according to a first-of-its-kind census of airborne microbes recently conducted by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The team used an innovative DNA test to catalog the bacteria in air samples taken from the Texas cities of San Antonio and Austin. Surprisingly, they found a widely varied bacterial population that rivals the diversity found in soil. They also found naturally occurring relatives of microbes that could be used in bioterrorist attacks — although many of these relatives are harmless.
“Before this study, no one had a sense of the diversity of the microbes in the air,” says lead author Gary Andersen of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division. …
The team also determined that location was not as strong a source of microbial variation as time and weather. Specifically, the time of the year during the 17-week testing period was the most significant source of variation, followed by atmospheric conditions. For example, warmer and dryer conditions led to increased amounts of spore-forming bacteria. –sciencedaily, Physorg
Ah, so that’s what the skyfish are eating! Plankton of the air! Read this for the personal human contribution to air bacteria, and about suppression regarding the farming industry’s contribution to airborne bacteria. PS. Our military once sprayed germs on US cities, including San Franciso.? It took them 30 years to admit it. How much of the bacteria in the air over Texas is there because we put it there?
“A jet aircraft equipped with spray devices, flew a course near Victoria, Texas, and the harmless particles were monitored in the Florida Keys.” – fas