Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding and metagenomics analyses can improve taxonomic resolution in biodiversity studies. Only recently, these techniques have been applied in aerobiology, to target bacteria, fungi and plants in airborne samples. Here, we present a nine-month aerobiological study applying eDNA metabarcoding in which we analyzed simultaneously airborne diversity and variation of fungi and plants across five locations in North and Central Italy. We correlated species composition with the ecological characteristics of the sites and the seasons. The most abundant taxa among all sites and seasons were the fungal genera Cladosporium, Alternaria, and Epicoccum and the plant genera Brassica, Corylus, Cupressus and Linum, the latter being much more variable among sites. PERMANOVA and indicator species analyses showed that the plant diversity from air samples is significantly correlated with seasons, while that of fungi varied according to the interaction between seasons and sites. The results consolidate the performance of a new eDNA metabarcoding pipeline for the simultaneous amplification and analysis of airborne plant and fungal particles. They also highlight the promising complementarity of this approach with more traditional biomonitoring frameworks and routine reports of air quality provided by environmental agencies.

Environmental DNA assessment of airborne plant and fungal seasonal diversity

Banchi E.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding and metagenomics analyses can improve taxonomic resolution in biodiversity studies. Only recently, these techniques have been applied in aerobiology, to target bacteria, fungi and plants in airborne samples. Here, we present a nine-month aerobiological study applying eDNA metabarcoding in which we analyzed simultaneously airborne diversity and variation of fungi and plants across five locations in North and Central Italy. We correlated species composition with the ecological characteristics of the sites and the seasons. The most abundant taxa among all sites and seasons were the fungal genera Cladosporium, Alternaria, and Epicoccum and the plant genera Brassica, Corylus, Cupressus and Linum, the latter being much more variable among sites. PERMANOVA and indicator species analyses showed that the plant diversity from air samples is significantly correlated with seasons, while that of fungi varied according to the interaction between seasons and sites. The results consolidate the performance of a new eDNA metabarcoding pipeline for the simultaneous amplification and analysis of airborne plant and fungal particles. They also highlight the promising complementarity of this approach with more traditional biomonitoring frameworks and routine reports of air quality provided by environmental agencies.
2020
Aerobiology
High throughput sequencing
Italy
PERMANOVA
PLANiTS
Pollen
Spore
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/17423
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