Article

Fungi: Their Role in Deterioration of Cultural Heritage

Fungal Biology Reviews 02/2010; 24(1-2):47-55. 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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Available from: Katja Sterflinger
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    • "The AUC hosts a great collection of parchment documents that is already facing biodeterioration effects (Mesquita et al., 2009). The use of molecular techniques in the identification of biodeterioration-related fungal species in documents and other culture heritage items is important to the understanding of fungal infection and its further consequences for the material (Sterflinger, 2010). The sequencing of the total ITS region is a still a very strong molecular tool for fungal species identification (Martin and Rygiewicz, 2005; Michaelsen et al., 2006; Schoch et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: In order to study the fungal diversity in different parchment collections from the “Arquivo da Universidade de Coimbra”, eighty different documents, belonging to five different collections, were screened for the presence of fungal species. Molecular methods complemented with morphological identification were applied to identify all fungal organisms. In total, 230 isolates, belonging to 22 different genera and 42 different species, were obtained. The most common genera were Alternaria, Cladosporium, Epicoccum and Penicillium and the most frequent species were Alternaria alternata, Aureobasidium pullulans, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Epicoccum nigrum, Penicillium citrinum, Penicillium glabrum and Penicillium spinulosum. Shannon–Wiener index was calculated for fungal diversity, presenting a low species diversity in all parchments collections. Also a Linear Model Regression analysis was calculated between the age of the documents, the number of species and number of isolates, confirming that time is significantly associated with species diversity; older collections generally presented a higher number of fungal isolates.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation
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    • "The fungal colonization of art pieces presented in display rooms of museums, galleries or stored in depots is nowadays a significant problem for cultural heritage conservators [1]. Materials colonized by fungi usually undergo changes in their chemical and physical characteristics [2], leading to biodeterioration/biodegradation and must not be neglected due to the increasing aesthetic value of art objects as well as the impact on health of the curator. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fungi play a considerable role in deterioration/degradation of cultural heritage due to their enormous enzymatic activity. A total of 112 fungal isolates were identificated from selected archaeological wood objects located at different areas (Islamic Art Museum, Storage area of Cheops's Solar Boat, Excavation of Saqqara and Grand Egyptian Museum). Aspergillus spp. were predominant in all investigated samples. Thirty seven fungal isolates were screened for cellulases, pectinases and ligninases activity. Aspergillus brasiliensis Varga, Frisvad et Janos and Penicillium duclauxii Delacroix exhibited high cellulolytic activity while Aspergillus amstelodami (Mangin) Thom and Cruch and Aspergillus parasiticus Speare have high pectinolytic activity. Seven fungal species showed ligninolytic potential activity based on their ability to oxidize dyes.
    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2015
    • "FISH is a simple , rapid and promising technique enabling the detection, visualisation and identification of the microorganisms (Bottari et al., 2006, Aoi, 2002). This technique is based on the hybridisation of synthetic fluorochromes, which are labeled probes that bind to the target RNA (Moter and Göbel, 2000, Sterflinger, 2010, Amann et al., 2001). Although FISH technique can clearly be useful in the field of cultural heritage conservation and restoration, only few studies have investigated its application in these fields (Cappitelli and Sor , 2001). "

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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Phil Geis added an answer in Isolation of Fungi:
    Can anyone help me with methods and/or literature for sampling and isolating fungi from mineral substrates, without damaging rock's surface?

    I am looking to isolate some fungi from stone buildings, and I have some sampling and isolating methods I am gonna use. But, I am looking for alternative methods also. Any piece of literature you can give me in this direction will be of help to me. Thanks, have a good day!

    Phil Geis

    Look at this article - accessible through Researchgate http://www.researchgate.net/publication/230577503_Fungi_Their_role_in_deterioration_of_cultural_heritage/file/d912f5018fa4d2cbfd.pdf

    Please be aware that fungi responsible for deterioration of cultural properties are often osmophilic and grow very slowly.  You'll need to discern these from the general fungal presence - most of which will be incidental.  What media do you plan to use and can you supplement your work with someDNA analysis?

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      [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
      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.
      Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Fungal Biology Reviews