KAUST DepartmentComputational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/553005
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AbstractRecent metagenomic studies of environments, such as marine and soil, have significantly enhanced our understanding of the diverse microbial communities living in these habitats and their essential roles in sustaining vast ecosystems. The increase in the number of publications related to soil and marine metagenomics is in sharp contrast to those of air, yet airborne microbes are thought to have significant impacts on many aspects of our lives from their potential roles in atmospheric events such as cloud formation, precipitation, and atmospheric chemistry to their major impact on human health. In this review, we will discuss the current progress in airborne metagenomics, with a special focus on exploring the challenges and opportunities of undertaking such studies. The main challenges of conducting metagenomic studies of airborne microbes are as follows: 1) Low density of microorganisms in the air, 2) efficient retrieval of microorganisms from the air, 3) variability in airborne microbial community composition, 4) the lack of standardized protocols and methodologies, and 5) DNA sequencing and bioinformatics-related challenges. Overcoming these challenges could provide the groundwork for comprehensive analysis of airborne microbes and their potential impact on the atmosphere, global climate, and our health. Metagenomic studies offer a unique opportunity to examine viral and bacterial diversity in the air and monitor their spread locally or across the globe, including threats from pathogenic microorganisms. Airborne metagenomic studies could also lead to discoveries of novel genes and metabolic pathways relevant to meteorological and industrial applications, environmental bioremediation, and biogeochemical cycles.
CitationChallenges and Opportunities of Airborne Metagenomics 2015, 7 (5):1216 Genome Biology and Evolution
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
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- Authors: Yooseph S, Andrews-Pfannkoch C, Tenney A, McQuaid J, Williamson S, Thiagarajan M, Brami D, Zeigler-Allen L, Hoffman J, Goll JB, Fadrosh D, Glass J, Adams MD, Friedman R, Venter JC
- Issue date: 2013
- Characterization of airborne microbial communities at a high-elevation site and their potential to act as atmospheric ice nuclei.
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- Issue date: 2009 Aug
- Seasonal variability in bacterial and fungal diversity of the near-surface atmosphere.
- Authors: Bowers RM, Clements N, Emerson JB, Wiedinmyer C, Hannigan MP, Fierer N
- Issue date: 2013
- Metagenomic survey of bacterial diversity in the atmosphere of Mexico City using different sampling methods.
- Authors: Serrano-Silva N, Calderón-Ezquerro MC
- Issue date: 2018 Apr
- Short-term temporal variability in airborne bacterial and fungal populations.
- Authors: Fierer N, Liu Z, Rodríguez-Hernández M, Knight R, Henn M, Hernandez MT
- Issue date: 2008 Jan