Distribution of airborne microorganisms in yellow sands of Korea

Dae Sung Choi, Yong Keun Park, Sang Kon Oh, Hee Ju Yoon, Jee Cheon Kim, Won Jun Seo, Seung Hee Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Distribution of airborne microorganisms was determined with two different types of air samplers, the Anderson cascade sampler and the Aerobioscope sampler, in the vicinity of Taejon. The size distribution of particles carrying bacteria and fungi was concurrently measured. The concentration of detected viable airborne particles was greatly varied. It was observed that the number of microbial particles increased in April and October. The most size of particles carrying bacteria was larger than 4.7 μm in mean aerodiameter, which made up 69.8% of the total particle fraction. About 63.2% of fungi-carrying particles were smaller than 4.7 μm in aero-diameter. The distribution of particles on Yellow Sand Phenomena-days was also analyzed. The number of fine particles having mass median aero-diameter from 1.0 to 10 μm increased on Yellow Sand Phenomena days to about 6 times that on normal days and the number of colony forming unit (CFU/m3) of airborne bacteria also increased by 4.3 times in April. The results from the Anderson sampler showed that the concentration of bacteria increased greatly on the fraction of fine particles ranging from 0.6 μm to 4.7 μm in diameter. Unlike the increase in bacterial flora on Yellow Sand Phenomena days, the fungal concentration slightly decreased and showed a normal size distribution pattern. This study suggests that a long-range transmission of bacteria results from bacteria adsorbing onto the fine particles during the Yellow Sand Phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1997


  • Airborne microorganisms
  • Concentration of microbial particles
  • Distribution of particles
  • Yellow Sand Phenomenon (YSP) days

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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