Fungal spore involvement in the resuspension of radiocaesium in summer

Yasuhito Igarashi*, Kazuyuki Kita, Teruya Maki, Takeshi Kinase, Naho Hayashi, Kentaro Hosaka, Kouji Adachi, Mizuo Kajino, Masahide Ishizuka, Tsuyoshi Thomas Sekiyama, Yuji Zaizen, Chisato Takenaka, Kazuhiko Ninomiya, Hiroshi Okochi, Atsuyuki Sorimachi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We observed the atmospheric resuspension of radiocaesium, derived from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, at Namie, a heavily contaminated area of Fukushima, since 2012. During the survey periods from 2012 to 2015, the activity concentrations of radiocaesium in air ranged from approximately 10 −5 to 10 −2 Bq per m 3 and were higher in the warm season than in the cold season. Electron microscopy showed that the particles collected on filters in summer were predominantly of biological origin (bioaerosols), with which the observed radiocaesium activity concentration varied. We conducted an additional aerosol analysis based on fluorescent optical microscopic observation and high-throughput DNA sequencing technique to identify bioaerosols at Namie in 2015 summer. The concentrations of bioaerosols fluctuated the order of 10 6 particles per m 3 , and the phyla Basidiomycota and Ascomycota (true Fungi) accounted for approximately two-thirds of the bioaerosols. Moreover, the fungal spore concentration in air was positively correlated with the radiocaesium concentration at Namie in summer 2016. The bioaerosol emissions from Japanese mixed forests in the temperate zone predominately included fungal cells, which are known to accumulate radiocaesium, and should be considered an important scientific issue that must be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1954
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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