The composition of the particulate material has been studied in Sao Paulo, with the identification of inorganic compounds, organic and elemental carbon, but there is still a big gap in the role of biological components for the organic composition of particulate matter. The biological components, also called bioaerosols may originate from plants, animals (insects) and micro-organisms (fungi and bacteria) including living and dead organisms and their by-products and are of high importance, showing relation to outbreaks of respiratory diseases and interfering in climatic processes, such as the formation of ice nuclei. Among the aerosols that are responsible for the formation of ice nuclei, the carbonaceous particles, especially those with biological origin, are the main substances that can form these ice nuclei in a temperature warmer than -10ºC. Very little is known about the role of these ice nuclei with a biological origin in the world, and even less in Sao Paulo. Thus, this work has as its theme the determination of biological components (bacteria and fungi) in the atmosphere of the metropolitan region of São Paulo and some of its impacts on atmospheric processes (especially there role in the ice nucleation). For the sampler collection it will be use the Burkard 7-day Recording Sampler, Airmetrics MiniVol portable Sampler and Airmetrics high-volume sampler (Hivol). Samples will be collected at Cidade Universitária, Butantã, Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP). It will be analyzed inorganic compounds with a Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, the total organic carbon and elemental carbon with the SUNSEt e several tracers of biogenic material with a HPAEC-PAD and a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). With this data it will be possible determinate the source appointment of these bioaerosol and the chemical composition characteristics. Using biomarkers, it will be estimated the mass concentration of the fungal spore, gram-negative bacteria, and endotoxins. Additionally, it will be elaborated a conversion factor to convert the mass concentration of arabitol and mannitol to number concentration of fungal spore in Sao Paulo. Furthermore, the concentration of pollen in number of particles will be obtained. After this characterization and quantification of bioaerosols, it will also be determined the activity of some fungal groups, as ice nuclei. It is hoped that this work will fill in some gaps in knowledge regarding the biological components of particulate matter in the atmosphere São Paulo: the composition and mass participation; and understanding of some of its impacts on the atmosphere.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: