Characterization of airborne ice-nucleation-active bacteria and bacterial fragments

Let it (possibly) rain: Some bacteria have the unique capacity of synthesising ice-nucleation-active (INA) proteins and exposing them at their outer membrane surface. […] During 14 precipitation events, strains affiliated with the genus Pseudomonas, which are known to carry INA genes, were dominant. A screening for INA properties revealed that ~12% of the cultivable bacteria caused ice formation at ≤-7 °C. They had likely been emitted to the atmosphere from terrestrial surfaces, e.g. by convective transport.

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