The atmosphere of the Earth full of fragments of fungal cells

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine found that in the atmosphere drifts are orders of magnitude more fragments of fungal cells than previously thought.

According to lead author Michael Lawler (Michael Lawler), these fragments likely represent fragments of spores, which burst after absorbing water and swelling.

the Team conducted sampling in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The air absorbed by the device called technique of thermodesorbtion mass spectrometer. He can take away particles selectively. In this case, it was the fragments with a diameter of from 20 to 60 nanometers.

They were going on a thin platinum filament, which is then heated to the collected material is evaporated. Further, the instrument analyzed the gases obtained.

the Chitin part of the cell walls of fungi, and also sugar alcohols, which the fungi use for energy storage, indicated the presence of relevant particles.

Most of them had a diameter of about 30 nanometers. For comparison, a sheet of paper has a thickness of about 100 thousand nanometers. According to experts, because of the small size of these nanoparticles may have gone unnoticed in previous tests.

Concentrations of fungal nanoparticles may reach hundreds per cubic centimeter, added the researchers.

it is Important to note that the fragments of the fungal cells with a diameter of less than one hundred nanometers, much easier to get into the lungs than intact cells with a diameter of thousands of nanometers. In addition, the former are more reactive.

Thus, the smallest particles of fungal cells can provoke allergic reactions and asthma attacks in patients susceptible to such effects.

moreover, in the atmosphere, these nanoparticles can act as condensation nuclei, accelerating the transformation of water vapor into ice. According to Laurila and his colleagues, these ice crystals contribute to the formation of clouds.

However, it is important to note that the authors of this work has collected air samples in the same regione (rural) within one month. That is, the results of the analysis are not necessarily indicative of the ubiquity of fragments of the fungal cell.

In the future, the team intends to expand their research and find out how to happen, “the mushroom exhausts” and whether these nanoparticles play an important role in the formation of clouds.

New data will be useful for a more accurate climate projections and improve the performance of the composition of the air we breathe, the authors conclude the work presented in the journal Science Advances.

by the Way, before “Conduct.Science” ( reported that on Earth every day it rains from viruses.

Text: To.Science