Everything you need to know about aero-microbiology. Some of the most frequently asked questions are as follows:-
Q.1. What is an Aero-Microbiology?
Ans: Aero-microbiology is the study of microorganisms living in the air and transported through the air. It is particularly important when aerosols are formed, drying of soils takes place and wind suspension and dust storms pick up microbial load and above all the strategies of biological warfare that are always hanging over today’s world.
Air borne microorganisms become an important sources of contamination in laboratories, hospitals, industries, exposed food materials, drinks and fodder. Although the air is not a medium for growth of microorganisms yet it carries particulate matter, dust and droplets which generally remain laden with microorganisms.
This type of carriers transport microorganisms and the ultimate fate of these microorganisms is dependent on conditions like sunlight, temperature, humidity, size of microbe laden particles, degree of susceptibility or resistance of particular microbe in new physical environment. Microbes come down with rains. The air after heavy rain is to a great extent free from microorganisms.
The term aerobiology has remained more popular than aero-microbiology and there are a large number of associations and aerobiology research laboratories specializing in aeroallergen research, pollen grains and fungal spore identification.
Of course, the study of other spores as that of algal, bryophytes and Pteridophytes are also studied under aerobiology. To conclude, the aero-microbiology is the study of those invisible microorganisms which are less than size of 1 mm and not visible with naked eye which are present in the air.
Q.2. What are droplet nuclei?
Ans: The particles 1 – 10 Jim in diameter, implicated in spread of air borne infection, e.g. the dried residue formed by evaporation of droplets coughed or sneezed into the atmosphere by aerosolization of infective material. There is an another term droplet infection for the infection caused by inhalation of an aerosol of Saliva, mucous etc. contaminated with pathogens, from an infected individual.
Q.3. What is an aerosol?
Ans: Technically an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplet in a gas e.g. smokes oceanic haze, air pollution, smog, CS gas. The term aerosol has been derived from the fact that matter floating in the air is a suspension i.e. a mixture in which solid or liquid or combined solid liquid particles are suspended in a fluid.
The differentiate suspensions from the solution the term sol originally evolved meant to cover dispersions of tiny submicroscopic particles in a liquid. On the basis of studies of dispersion in air, the term aerosol developed and now stands for liquid droplets, solid particles and combinations of all these.
Q.4. What is phylloplane?
Ans: The habitat of the microorganisms directly on the surface of leaf is called phylloplane. The phylloplane serves as habitat of a large number of bacterial species, fungal hyphae and spores and unicellular yeast cells. The presence of viral entities on the leaf surface also cannot be ruled out. The phylloplane fungi can produce the enzyme cellular. They are also known to produce enzymes pectinase, cutinases and proteases.
There are specially pigmented populations of yeasts and bacteria on the leaf surfaces. It is believed that pigments of microbial population afford protection against otherwise harmful UV radiations; and direct sunlight on the surface of the leaf. The populations of phylloplane of pine trees bear capability to utilize sugars and alcohol as carbon sources, in a better way than bacterial populations in the litter (leafy material and twigs left lying on the forest floor) layer.
Bacterial populations in the phylloplane of rye are represented by Xanthomonads and pink chromogens in the month of May Xanthomonads and Pseudomonads in the month of July, Xanthomonads in September and listeria and staphylococci in the month of September. Populations of Alternaria, Epicoccus and Stremphylium have been seen as phylloplane invaders 9.
Q.5. What is Phyllosphere?
Ans: The phyllosphere is the habitat adjacent of the plane leaf. In other words it is the environment in immediate vicinity of plant leaf. Like phylloplane various bacterial and fungal populations occur in phyllosphere too. The principle populations in the phyllosphere region of green needles of some species of Pinus are Pseudomonas, even Pseudomonas fluorescent. The populations of Sporobolomyces roseus Rhodotorula glutinis, R. mucilaginosa Cryptococcus laurentu, Torulpsis ingeniosa and Aureobasidium pullans are commonly found in the phyllosphere.
Q.6. Define antagonism.
Ans: The antagonism is the inhibition, injury or the killing of one species of microorganisms by another microorganisms. It is an inter-population relationship in which one population bears a deleterious or negative effect over another population of microorganisms.