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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Ice nucleating particles (INPs) can influence multiple climate-relevant cloud properties by triggering droplet freezing at relative humidities below or temperatures above the freezing point of water. The ocean is a significant INP source, yet the specific identities of marine INPs remain largely unknown. Here we identify 14 ice nucleating microbes from aerosol and precipitation samples collected at a coastal site in Southern California, two or more of which are marine.
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1229
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1229

  05 Jan 2021

05 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Cultivable, halotolerant ice nucleating bacteria and fungi in coastal precipitation

Charlotte M. Beall1,, Jennifer M. Michaud2,, Meredith A. Fish3, Julie Dinasquet1, Gavin C. Cornwell4, M. Dale Stokes1, Michael D. Burkart2, Thomas C. Hill5, Paul J. DeMott5, and Kimberly A. Prather1,2 Charlotte M. Beall et al.
  • 1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
  • 3Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854
  • 4Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, 99354, USA
  • 5Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, USA
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Ice nucleating particles (INPs) are a rare subset of aerosol particles that initiate cloud droplet freezing at temperatures above the homogenous freezing point of water (−38 °C). Considering that the ocean covers 70 % of the earth's surface and represent a large potential source of INPs, it is imperative that the uncertainties in the identities and emissions of ocean INP become better understood. However, the specific underlying drivers of marine INP emissions and their identities remain largely unknown due to limited observations and the challenge involved in isolating exceptionally rare IN forming particles. By generating nascent sea spray aerosol (SSA) over a range of biological conditions, mesocosm studies show that microbes can contribute to marine INPs. Here, we identify 14 (30 %) cultivable halotolerant ice nucleating microbes and fungi among 47 total isolates recovered from precipitation and aerosol samples collected in coastal air in Southern California. IN isolates collected in coastal air were found to nucleate ice from extremely warm to moderate freezing temperatures (−2.3 to −18 °C). Air mass trajectory analyses, and cultivability in marine growth media indicate marine origins of these isolates. Further phylogenetic analysis confirmed that at least two of the 14 IN isolates were of marine origin. Moreover, results from cell washing experiments demonstrate that most IN isolates maintained freezing activity in the absence of nutrients and cell growth media. This study provides confirmation of previous studies' findings that implicated microbes as a potential source of marine INPs and additionally demonstrates links between precipitation, marine aerosol and IN microbes.

Charlotte M. Beall et al.

Status: open (until 02 Mar 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2020-1229', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Jan 2021 reply

Charlotte M. Beall et al.

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Data from: Cultivable, halotolerant ice nucleating bacteria and fungi in coastal precipitation Charlotte M. Beall, Jennifer M. Michaud, Meredith A. Fish, Julie Dinasquet, Gavin C. Cornwell, M. Dale Stokes, Michael D. Burkart, Thomas C. Hill, Paul J. DeMott, and Kimberly A. Prather https://doi.org/10.6075/J0GQ6W2Z

Charlotte M. Beall et al.

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Short summary
Ice nucleating particles (INPs) can influence multiple climate-relevant cloud properties by triggering droplet freezing at relative humidities below or temperatures above the freezing point of water. The ocean is a significant INP source, yet the specific identities of marine INPs remain largely unknown. Here we identify 14 ice nucleating microbes from aerosol and precipitation samples collected at a coastal site in Southern California, two or more of which are marine.
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