Environmental processes and health implications potentially mediated by dust-borne bacteria

Pengfei Hu, Yehonatan Sharaby, Ji Dong Gu, Adi Radian, Naama Lang-Yona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding microbial migration and survival mechanisms in dust events (DEs) can elucidate genetic and metabolic exchange between environments and help predict the atmospheric pathways of ecological and health-related microbial stressors. Dust-borne microbial communities have been previously characterized, but the impact and interactions between potentially active bacteria within transported communities remain limited. Here, we analysed samples collected during DEs in Israel, using amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes and transcripts. Different air trajectories and wind speeds were associated not only with the genomic microbial community composition variations but also with specific 16S rRNA bacterial transcripts. Potentially active dust-borne bacteria exhibited positive interactions, including carbon and nitrogen cycling, biotransformation of heavy metals, degradation of organic compounds, biofilm formation, and the presence of pathogenic taxa. This study provides insights into the potential interactive relationships and survival strategies of microorganisms within the extreme dust environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13222
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology Reports published by Applied Microbiology International and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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