City-Scale Meta-Analysis of Indoor Airborne Microbiota Reveals that Taxonomic and Functional Compositions Vary with Building Types

You Zhou, Marcus H.Y. Leung, Xinzhao Tong, Justin Y.Y. Lee, Patrick K.H. Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Currently, there is a lack of understanding on the variations of the indoor airborne microbiotas of different building types within a city, and how operational taxonomic unit (OTU)-and amplicon sequence variant (ASV)-based analyses of the 16S rRNA gene sequences affect interpretation of the indoor airborne microbiota results. Therefore, in this study, the indoor airborne bacterial microbiotas between commercial buildings, residences, and subways within the same city were compared using both OTU-and ASV-based analytic methods. Our findings suggested that indoor airborne bacterial microbiota compositions were significantly different between building types regardless of the bioinformatics method used. The processes of ecological drift and random dispersal consistently played significant roles in the assembly of the indoor microbiota across building types. Abundant taxa tended to be more centralized in the correlation network of each building type, highlighting their importance. Taxonomic changes between the microbiotas of different building types were also linked to changes in their inferred metabolic function capabilities. Overall, the results imply that customized strategies are necessary to manage indoor airborne bacterial microbiotas for each building type or even within each specific building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15051-15062
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume55
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • airborne microbiota
  • amplicon sequence variants
  • building type
  • indoor air
  • operational taxonomic units

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