Fungi: Their role in deterioration of cultural heritage

Fungal Biology Reviews 01/2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.fbr.2010.03.003

ABSTRACT Fungi play a considerable role for the deterioration of cultural heritage. Due to their enormous enzymatic activity and their ability to grow at low aw values fungi are able to inhabit and to decay paintings, textiles, paper, parchment, leather, oil, casein, glue and other materials used for historical art objects. The weathering of stone monuments is significantly increased by epi- and endolitic fungi. In museums and their storage rooms, climate control, regular cleaning and microbiological monitoring are essential in order to prevent fungal contamination. Education and close collaboration of mycologists and restorers are needed to develop object specific methods for the conservation and treatment of contaminated objects.

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    ABSTRACT: Following the discovery of discoloration on some pages of the Atlantic Codex (AC) of Leonardo da Vinci kept in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, some investigations have been carried out to verify the presence of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. To verify the presence of microorganisms a noninvasive method of sampling has been used that was efficient and allowed us to highlight the microbial facies of the material that was examined using conventional microbiological techniques. The microclimatic conditions in the storage room as well as the water content of the volume were also assessed. The combined observations allowed the conclusion that the discoloration of suspected biological origin on some pages of AC is not related to the presence or current attack of microbial agents.
    International Journal of Microbiology 01/2014; 2014:214364.
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we compared the microbial communities colonising ancient cave wall paintings of the Mogao Grottoes exhibiting signs of biodeterioration. Ten samples were collected from five different caves built during different time periods and analysed using culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. The clone library results revealed high microbial diversity, including the bacterial groups Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, and Chloroflexiand the fungal groups Euascomycetes, Dothideomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Sordariomycetes, Saccharomycetes, Plectomycetes, Pezizomycetes, Zygomycota,and Basidiomycota. The bacterial community structures differed among the samples, with no consistent temporal or spatial trends. However, the fungal community diversity index correlated with the building time of the caves independent of environmental factors (e.g., temperature or relative humidity). The enrichment cultures revealed that manyculturablestrainswerehighlyresistanttovariousstressesandthusmayberesponsibleforthedamage to cave paintings in the Mogao Grottoes.
    Scientific Reports 01/2015; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: To investigate fungal contamination in ethnographic objects from the Museu do Índio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), from a particular indian community named Urubu-Kaapor. Results were compared to the same investigation on objects from other indian tribes, to determine possible cross-contamination between objects, if stored in the same repository in the museum. Study Design: Selection and materials characterization of the objects from distinct ethnographic collections, followed by an investigation of the fungal contamination through the use of swab techniques and specific culture medium. Place and Duration of Study: Museu do Índio, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between April and December 2012. Methodology: Samples: We included 5 ethnographic objects from Urubu-Kaapor indian community, probably non-contaminated due to its chemical constitution and state of conservation and 5 ethnographic objects from Xavante, Nambikwáras and Kamayurá
    Annual Research & Review in Biology. 01/2014; 4(7):1024.


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May 29, 2014