Navigation Links
Cosmopolitan microbes -- hitchhikers on Darwin's dust
Date:12/4/2007

Scientists have analysed aerial dust samples collected by Charles Darwin and confirmed that microbes can travel across continents without the need for planes or trains - rather bacteria and fungi hitch-hike by attaching to dust particles.

In a paper published in Environmental Microbiology, Dr. Anna Gorbushina (Carl-von-Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany), Professor William Broughton (University of Geneva, Switzerland) and their colleagues analysed dust samples collected by Charles Darwin and others almost 200 years ago. Geo-chemical analyses showed that these samples contained wind-fractionated dust from West Africa and some travelled as far as the Caribbean. Their results clearly show that diverse microbes, including ascomycetes, and eubacteria can live for centuries and survive intercontinental travel.

Desert storms stir up and deposit 50million tonnes of dust particles from the Sahara to the Amazon every year. The largest, single source of dust on the planet is the Bodl Depression in Northern Chad. As surface sand is whipped up into the air, larger particles are continually lost, and only the finest (< 10microns) reach the troposphere where they are blown on Trade Winds across the Atlantic. Similar fractionation of microbes also occurs, and only some survive travel across oceans.

These findings push forward our understanding of planetary microbial ecology. said Professor Broughton.

But could inter-continental spread of microbial hitch-hikers lead to the spread of contaminants or disease? Obviously, intercontinental spread of micro-organisms has been with us for a very long time, so unless land-use patterns in the Western Sahara have changed recently, disasters like the demise of coral in the Caribbean, cannot be ascribed to the intercontinental travel of desert bugs said Professor Broughton.


'/>"/>

Contact: Davina Quarterman
davina.quarterman@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com
01-865-476-307
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
2. Microbes churn out hydrogen at record rate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), a biotechnology acceleration ... at the 5th Annual Marcum MicroCap Conference on Thursday, June ... at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The Company,s presentation ... scheduled to begin at 11a.m ET in the Broadway Room. ... and outline milestones for the balance of 2016 and beyond. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u has become a ... consistently been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune 500 companies, such as ... in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event kicks off with an ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Scientists at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of ... could lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on ... evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016   MedyMatch Technology Ltd ., ... artificial intelligence, real-time decision support tools in the emergency room, ... the 2016 Israeli Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) BioMed Conference. ... Israel,s 15th National Life Sciences and Technology Week, ... David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel ...
Breaking Biology Technology: