Richness and diversity in dust stormborne biomes at the southeast mediterranean

Itzhak Katra, Luba Arotsker, Helena Krasnov, Arieh Zaritsky, Ariel Kushmaro, Eitan Ben-Dov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Dust storms include particulate matter that is transported over land and sea with biota that could impact downwind ecosystems. In addition to the physico-chemical compositions, organismal diversities of dust from two storm events in southern Israel, December 2012 (Ev12) and January 2013 (Ev13), were determined by pyro-sequencing using primers universal to 16S and 18S rRNA genes and compared. The bio-assemblages in the collected dust samples were affiliated with scores of different taxa. Distinct patterns of richness and diversity of the two events were influenced by the origins of the air masses: Ev13 was rich with reads affiliated to Betaproteobacteria and Embryophyta, consistent with a European origin. Ev12, originated in north-Africa, contained significantly more of the Actinobacteria and fungi, without conifers. The abundance of bacterial and eukaryotic reads demonstrates dissemination of biological material in dust that may impose health hazards of pathogens and allergens, and influence vegetation migration throughout the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5265
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 12 Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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