Navigation Links
Microbes hitchhike across Atlantic on desert dust

Bacteria and fungi, some with the potential to cause disease in plants or animals, may be finding their way from Africa to the Americas by hitchhiking on microscopic dust particles kicked up by storms in the Sahara, according to research presented today at the 106th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Orlando, Florida.

"This study presents evidence of early summer survival and transport of microorganisms from North Africa to a mid-Atlantic research site," says Dale Griffin of the U.S. Geological Survey in St. Petersburg, Florida, one of the researchers on the study.

Griffin and his colleagues tested air samples on a research ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean during May and June 2003 to determine if airborne, viable populations of bacteria and fungi could be detected and also to see if total population counts increased with the presence of airborne desert dust.

"The phenomenon known as desert-dust storms moves an estimated 2.2 billion metric tons of soil and dried sediment through the Earth's atmosphere each year. The largest of these events is capable of dispersing large quantities of dust across oceans and continents. Since a gram of desert soil may contain as many as 1 billion bacterial cells, the presence of airborne dust should correspond with increased concentrations of airborne microorganisms," says Griffin

Viable bacterial and fungal populations were collected on 24 of 40 sampling days. The three days where the highest populations were collected corresponded with the two highest periods of dust activity as determined by the U.S. Navy's Naval Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System Global Aerosol Model.

DNA analysis matched two of the isolates 100 percent to two dust-borne isolates previously collected from the atmosphere in Mali. One of them, a known human pathogen, has also been found in atmospheric samples in the U.S. Virgin Islands when African desert dust was present. Additional ana lysis identified a number of bacteria and fungi capable of causing disease in animals and plants, including the cause of Florida Sycamore canker.

"It is tempting to speculate that transatlantic transport of dust could be a vector to renew reservoirs of some plant and animal pathogens in North America and could also be the cause of new diseases," says Griffin.


Source:American Society for Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Researchers Discover That Microbes Can Produce Miniature Electrical Wires
2. Microbes under Greenland Ice may be preview of what scientists find under Mars surface
3. Microbes convert Styrofoam? into biodegradable plastic
4. Microbes transform safest PBDEs into more harmful compounds
5. Microbes compete with animals for food by making it stink
6. Microbes start immune response by sneaking inside cells
7. A virus-like hitchhiker may trigger bacterial meningitis
8. Viral hitchhiker inhibits Wolbachia bacterias ability to proliferate
9. Monkeys understand numbers across senses
10. Sensor web simulation investigates technique to improve prediction of pollution across the globe
11. Low levels of neurotransmitter serotonin may perpetuate child abuse across generations
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... , October 29, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to ... featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial for ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 In the ... issues of concern for various industry verticals such as ... due to the growing demand for secure & simplified ... various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, misuse ... electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the leader ... adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® Series ... newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG and ... --> --> Synaptics works closely with ... in the joint development of next generation technologies. Together, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today ... December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, ... Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel ... Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the Board ... Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment to certain ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist ... announced that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at ... Hotel in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading ... culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. ... on the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QC , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic ... "Corporation") announced today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President ... corporate presentation at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th ... Palace Hotel, on December 1-2, 2015. st ... available for one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: