2008 Volume 22 Issue 1 Pages 18-25
Five bacterial strains have been isolated from dust samples collected from the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during several aircraft flights. Most of them displayed much higher resistance to ultraviolet radiation (254 nm) than surface airborne isolates. The role of UV radiation combined with other conditions to determine survivability of bacterial species in the upper atmosphere is discussed. Two strains from the upper atmosphere (ST0316 and TR0125) exhibited extreme UV resistance and tend to form cell clumps or aggregates. Forming cell aggregation might be a strategy to enhance their survivability in the harsh conditions such as high dosage of UV at high altitude.