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Life on the wind: Study reveals how microbes travel the Earth
Date:8/17/2011

easily travel between continents on the time span of a single year. This is an important result as it very significantly increases the potential for microbial diversity."

Most microbes carried by wind are likely to be harmless, but outbreaks of certain disease such as meningitis in the Sahel region of Africa and foot and mouth disease have been linked to airborne microbes in the past.

"We stress that our model looks at only one aspect of microbial dispersal namely airborne transport to a new site. Once a microbe arrives, it clearly needs to reproduce, including potentially competing with microbes already at that location," Dr Wilkinson concluded. "Given the ease with which the smaller microbes disperse in our model it is possible that this (rather than dispersal itself) may be the rate-limiting step in many cases of microbial range expansion and this topic should form the topic for future research in this area."


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Contact: Clare Doran
C.N.Doran@ljmu.ac.uk
01-512-313-369
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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