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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


Environmental Microbiology  |  Microbial Ecology and Diversity

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett.

Received: December 24, 2021; Revised: February 8, 2022

Microbial metagenome of airborne particulate matter: Methodology, Characteristics and influence parameters

Soo-Kyung Kang 1 and Kyung Suk Cho 1*

Ewha Womans Univeristy

Correspondence to :
Kyung Suk Cho, 서울시 서대문구 이화여대길 52 [03760]
Tel : 02-3277-2393, Fax : 02-3277-3575, E-mail :


The microbial metagenome characteristics of bioaerosols or particulate matter (PM) in the outdoor atmospheric environment and the effects of climate and environmental factors on the metagenome were reviewed. The concentrations of bacteria and fungi in the bioaerosols and PM by sampling regions and environmental properties were summarized. A variety of culture-independent methods to analyze the microbial metagenome in aerosol and PM samples were introduced. In addition, the effects of meteorological and environmental factors on the bacterial and fungal diversity and metagenome was investigated. The survival, growth and dispersal of the microorganisms in the atmosphere was greatly influenced by local weather conditions and air pollutants. The concentration of airborne microorganisms increased as increasing temperature, but their concentration decreased in summer due to the influence of high temperature and strong ultraviolet rays. Humidity and microbial concentration showed a positive correlation, but when the humidity was too high, the dispersion of airborne microorganisms was delayed. These comprehensive information on the microbial metagenome in the bioaerosols and PM can be used to understand the roles and functions of microorganisms in the atmosphere, and to develop strategies and abatement techniques to address environmental and public health problems caused by them.

Keywords: Airborne microorganism, Particulate matter, Metagenome, Culture-independent Methodology, Air quality

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