Ying Rao1,2,3#, Heyang Li This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2,4#, Mingxia Chen5, Qingyan Fu6, Guoshun Zhuang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Kan Huang This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,7,8


1 Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Study, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP3), Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
2 Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xiamen 361005, China
3 Health Center of Minnan Normal University, Zhangzhou 363000, China
4 Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Ecological Conservation and Restoration, Xiamen 361005, China
5 Department of Biological technology and Engineering, HuaQiao University, Xiamen 361021, China
6 Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, Shanghai 200030, China
7 Institute of Eco-Chongming (IEC), Shanghai 202162, China
8 Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China

# These authors contributed equally to this work.


Received: January 21, 2020
Revised: April 15, 2020
Accepted: May 21, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.01.0030 

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Cite this article:

Rao, Y., Li, H., Chen, M., Fu, Q., Zhuang, G. and Huang. K. (2020). Characterization of Airborne Microbial Aerosols during a Long-range Transported Dust Event in Eastern China: Bacterial Community, Influencing Factors, and Potential Health Effects. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.01.0030


  • Bacteria in a dust event was analyzed using the 16s rRNA sequencing technique.
  • Bacterial community structures were affected by wind speed and aerosol species.
  • The relative abundance of Cyanobacteria , which is harmful, increased during dust.


The atmospheric microbial aerosols samples during the invasion of dust into Shanghai were analyzed using the 16s rRNA high throughput sequencing technique. The characteristics of bacterial community structure in the mixed polluted aerosols with dust and the influencing environmental factors were revealed. On the phylum level, the dominant groups of atmospheric bacteria were Proteobacteria, Actinomycetes, and Firmicutes, and the relative abundance of Acidobacteria increased significantly during the invasion of dust. At the genus level, the dominant ones were Rubellimicrobium and Paracoccus before the dust arrival, while they changed to Deinococcus and Chroococcidiopsis during the dust invasion, and Clostridium and Deinococcus after the passing of dust. In addition, significant differences of the relative abundances were found in 22 genus among the samples before, during, and after the dust.   Based on the analysis of bacterial groups and key environmental factors, it was found that the seven main environmental factors related to bacterial groups were wind speed, SO2, SO42-, NO3-, PM10, NH4+, and Ca2+. It should be emphasized that the relative abundance of Cyanobacteria increased significantly during dust invasion as Cyanobacteria is known to have hepatotoxicity and tumor promotion effect for humans.


Keywords: Airborne bacteria; Bacteria community structure; Influencing factors; Long-range transport dust.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:-. https://doi.org/{field 40} 

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