Introduction >> Map of HUST

Microbial ecology plays a significant role in biogeochemical cycle[1], as well as regional nutrient cycle such as microbes in soil[2-4], marine[5,6],lake[7-9]environment and etc., the composition of which varies under marked pressure of urban stress[10,11], climate[12] and geomorphology [6,13-15]. With the development of sequencing technology[16], the detection and identification of massive microbes in diverse biological niches have been possible. General profiles of and the interactions between microbiome and its living conditions have been widely reported, suggesting its potential to influence human health[17,18]. A longitudinal analysis of microbial interaction between humans and the indoor environment indicated that human effects can largely shape the microbial pattern in house surface of occupants[19]. Similary, microbial pattern influenced by population density within boroughs [11].

Large scale campus is sociologically and biologically defined as a semi-open community, consisting of school gate, teaching buildings, school service buildings, living quarters, roads and other facilities of varying sizes similar to society. Stressors such as temperature and the population density differ among the surface of functional partitions in campus, having potential associations with mirco-environment. However, there still lacks ystematic and comprehensive researches in campus microbiome.

In this study, HUST (Huazhong Univ of Sci & Tech, along with several campuses in Wuhan) served as a model, offering us a unique landscape of campus microbiome and its interactions with surrounding ecosystems. We were especially interested in and tried to address the following questions: (i) Does campus microbiome exert seasonal alteration and how? Seasonal factor and other climatic factors were considered to investigate the chronological dynamics of microbiome. (ii) Does the density of population influence the microbial communities? Samples were collected according to different partition types in HUST. Classroom, Canteen, Dorm and Library were classified “CCDL” which routinely accommodates a densely populated flow from the east to the west of the campus. Bus stations, sports fields, clinics, gates and hotels, which are typical of non-routine areas for students in campus. Samples from hills and lakes were categorized in another group featuring sparse population in most of times. (iii) Does campus microbiome feature robustness at the interface with the outside? Samples from school gates, clinics, bus stations and other campus in Wuhan were also collected examine characteristic consistency of campus microbiome.