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LSU scientist finds evidence of 'rain-making' bacteria
Date:2/28/2008

alth, said Christner. Transport through the atmosphere is a very efficient dissemination strategy, so the ability of a pathogen to affect its precipitation from the atmosphere would be advantageous in finding new hosts.

It is possible that the atmosphere represents one facet of the infection cycle, whereby the bacteria infects a plant, multiplies, is aerosolized into the atmosphere and then delivered to a new plant through atmospheric precipitation.

The role that biological particles play in atmospheric processes has been largely overlooked. However, we have found biological ice nuclei in precipitation samples from Antarctica to Louisiana theyre ubiquitous. Our results provide an impetus for atmospheric scientists to start thinking about the role these particles play in precipitation, said Christner. This work is truly multi-disciplinary, bridging the disciplines of ecology, microbiology, plant pathology and climatology. It represents a completely new avenue of research and clearly demonstrates that we are just beginning to understand the intricate interplay between the planets climate and biosphere.


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Contact: Brent Christner
xner@lsu.edu
225-578-1734
Louisiana State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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