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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 11;8(12):e81862. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081862. eCollection 2013.

A metagenomic framework for the study of airborne microbial communities.

Author information

1
Informatics, J. Craig Venter Institute, San Diego, California, United States of America.
2
Synthetic Biology and Bioenergy, J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.
3
Microbial and Environmental Genomics, J. Craig Venter Institute, San Diego, California, United States of America.
4
Informatics, J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.

Abstract

Understanding the microbial content of the air has important scientific, health, and economic implications. While studies have primarily characterized the taxonomic content of air samples by sequencing the 16S or 18S ribosomal RNA gene, direct analysis of the genomic content of airborne microorganisms has not been possible due to the extremely low density of biological material in airborne environments. We developed sampling and amplification methods to enable adequate DNA recovery to allow metagenomic profiling of air samples collected from indoor and outdoor environments. Air samples were collected from a large urban building, a medical center, a house, and a pier. Analyses of metagenomic data generated from these samples reveal airborne communities with a high degree of diversity and different genera abundance profiles. The identities of many of the taxonomic groups and protein families also allows for the identification of the likely sources of the sampled airborne bacteria.

PMID:
24349140
PMCID:
PMC3859506
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0081862
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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