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FRIBIO-Biologi og biomedisin

Quantification and Characterization of Microbial Communities in Air.

Tildelt: kr 2,6 mill.

There is a serious lack of knowledge concerning the presence, activity and dispersal of airborne microorganisms. Most studies describing the prevalence of airborne microorganisms have only applied traditional microbiological methods and evaluated the occu rrence of culturable bacteria, which is known to make up typically less than 1-10% of all bacteria present. Knowledge about the activity and diversity of the remaining part (>90%), counting 104-105 per m3, as well as about airborne viruses, is important f or understanding their dispersal and significance with respect to microbial ecology, biodiversity and meteorology. This knowledge will also provide a scientific basis for risk assessment of airborne pathogenic microorganisms. In this project we will combi ne the use of the recently developed efficient devices for sampling airborne particles with state of the art methods for quantification and characterization of microorganisms i.e. electron microscopy, flow cytometry and molecular methods. This represents a new approach to the field. Field studies will be conducted to investigate quantitative and qualitative variation in the atmospheric microbial community in time and space. The field work will in part be done in collaboration with our partners in a joint European-US initiative for assessing airborne microorganisms in the northern European atmosphere.


FRIBIO-Biologi og biomedisin