Microbial Ecology

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 628–633 | Cite as

Scopulariopsis sp. and Fusarium sp. in the Documentary Heritage: Evaluation of Their Biodeterioration Ability and Antifungal Effect of Two Essential Oils

  • Paola Lavin
  • Sandra Gómez de Saravia
  • Patricia GuiametEmail author
Environmental Microbiology


Fungi produce pigments and acids, generating particular local conditions which modify the physicochemical properties of materials. The aims of this work are (i) to investigate bioadhesion, foxing production and biofilm formation by Scopulariopsis sp. and Fusarium sp. isolated from document collections under laboratory conditions; (ii) to verify attack on cellulose fibres and (iii) to study the possibility of reducing fungal growth using natural products. Biofilm formation and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) production by fungi were demonstrated in laboratory assays and by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations. The biocidal activity of two essential oils of Origanum vulgare L. and Thymus vulgaris L. was evaluated using the microatmosphere method. SEM observations showed that these strains were able to attach to paper and form biofilms, causing damage on them, which demonstrates the biodeterioration ability of these microorganisms. Scopulariopsis sp. and Fusarium sp. isolated from paper books showed the formation of fox-like reddish-brown colour spots, attack to the paper structure and pigment production on aged paper samples. The strains tested produced a decrease in the pH of one unit. This would substantiate the effect of the strains in paper biodeterioration. The microatmosphere method showed that volatile compounds of the essential oils have antifungal activity.


Biodeterioration Fungi Microatmosphere method Paper 



The authors would like to thank the National University of La Plata (UNLP 11N713 and 11X 632), CONICET PIP 0200 and CICBA 833/14 for the grants received to finance this work. The authors are grateful to Arch. María de la Paz Diulio and Lic. Patricia Battistoni for their technical support and to Lic. Juan Carlos Alvarez Gelves and Dr. Silvia Ametrano for allowing microbial sampling on AHCR and HAMLP, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Lavin
    • 1
  • Sandra Gómez de Saravia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patricia Guiamet
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoquímicas Teóricas y Aplicadas (INIFTA), Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias ExactasUNLP, CCT La Plata-CONICETLa PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo-UNLP-CICBALa PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias-UNLP-CONICETLa PlataArgentina

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