Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 22, pp 9637–9646 | Cite as

Microbial deterioration of cultural heritage and works of art — tilting at windmills?

  • Katja SterflingerEmail author
  • Guadalupe Piñar
Open Access


Microorganisms (bacteria, archaea and fungi), in addition to lichens and insect pests, cause problems in the conservation of cultural heritage because of their biodeteriorative potential. This holds true for all types of historic artefacts, and even for art made of modern materials, in public buildings, museums and private art collections. The variety of biodeterioration phenomena observed on materials of cultural heritage is determined by several factors, such as the chemical composition and nature of the material itself, the climate and exposure of the object, in addition to the manner and frequency of surface cleaning and housekeeping in museums. This study offers a review of a variety of well-known biodeterioration phenomena observed on different materials, such as stone and building materials, objects exhibited in museums and libraries, as well as human remains and burial-related materials. The decontamination of infected artefacts, exhibition rooms and depots incurs high expenditure for museums. Nevertheless, the question has to be raised: whether the process of biodeterioration of cultural heritage can or should be stopped under all circumstances, or whether we have to accept it as a natural and an implicit consecution of its creation. This study also highlights critically the pros and cons of biocide treatments and gives some prominent examples of successful and unsuccessful conservation treatments. Furthermore, an outlook on the future research needs and developments in this highly interesting field is given.


Biodeterioration phenomena Microbial communities Biocides Conservation 


Biodeterioration can be defined as “any undesirable change in a material brought about by the vital activities of organisms” (Allsopp 2011). Bacteria, archaea, fungi and lichens as well as insect pests are constantly causing problems in the conservation of cultural heritage because of their biodeteriorative potential. This holds true for all types of historic artefacts and even for art made of modern materials (e.g., polymers; Sabev et al. 2006) in public museums and in private art collections. Fungi, bacteria and lichens are also found on mural paintings in churches, caves and catacombs, and even as biodeteriogens of architectural surfaces and stone monuments in outdoor environments (Ettenauer et al. 2010; Piñar and Sterflinger 2009; Saarela et al. 2004; Steiger et al. 2011; Sterflinger 2000; Urzì 2004). The oldest and most precious objects suffering from serious fungal invasions are rock art caves, such as the caves of Lascaux in France (Bastian and Alabouvette 2009).

Although the history of biodeterioration of houses and art is long and cases of red and green “leprosies” in houses have been described in the Bible (e.g., Leviticus Chap. 14, v. 36), its importance has been neglected for a long time, during which chemical and physical processes were believed to be the dominant factors of material decay. In recent decades, however, the dogma has changed and it is now generally agreed that fungi and bacteria not only cause serious aesthetical destruction of paintings, costumes, ceramics, mummies, books and manuscripts, they inhabit and penetrate into the materials, resulting in material loss, due to acid corrosion, enzymatic degradation and mechanical attack.

Decontamination of infected artefacts, exhibition rooms and depots results in high expenditure for museums (Allsopp et al. 2004; Cappitelli et al. 2009; Koestler et al. 2003; Mesquita et al. 2009; Nittérus 2000a; Pangallo et al. 2009; Sterflinger 2010). Allsopp (2011) stated that the annual world loss of non-food materials due to fungal attack is US$40 billion. However, the cultural and historical value of many paintings, books and manuscripts is inestimable and thus, cannot be expressed merely in terms of money. Nevertheless, the question has to be raised: whether the process of biodeterioration of cultural heritage can or should be stopped under any circumstances, or whether we have to accept it as a natural and implicit consecution of its creation.

Microorganisms associated with biodeterioration phenomena observed on materials of cultural heritage

The biodeterioration phenomena observed on materials of cultural heritage are determined by several factors: (1) the chemical composition and nature of the material itself, (2) the climate and exposure of the object, (3) the manner and frequency of surface cleaning and housekeeping in museums. Some well-known examples are detailed below.

Biodeterioration of stone and building materials

Microorganisms contribute significantly to the overall deterioration phenomena observed on stone and other building materials, such as concrete, mortar, slurries and paint coatings, glass and metals used in architecture (Piñar and Sterflinger 2009). On building stone exposed to the environment, fungi may be the most important biodeteriorative organisms because they are extremely erosive (Scheerer et al. 2009; Sterflinger 2000). Depending on the physical properties of the material, fungi may penetrate inside the stone. The phenomenon of bio-pitting — the formation of pits in sizes ranging up to 2 cm in diameter and depth in stone — is caused mainly by black fungi. Bio-pitting occurs predominantly on marble and limestone, but it has also been observed on antique glass (Piñar et al. 2013a).There are two major morphological and ecological groups of stone-inhabiting and stone-dwelling fungi. These have adapted to different environmental conditions. In moderate or humid climates, the fungal communities on rock are dominated by hyphomycetes (mold) that form mycelia (hyphal networks) in the porous space of the stones (Sterflinger 2000; Rosling et al. 2009). Since the settlement of spores from the air is the first step for fungal colonization, the species diversity of stone fungi is rather similar to the diversity of common airborne spores. Alternaria, Cladosporium, Epicoccum, Aureobasidium and Phoma are the most important species (Sterflinger and Prillinger 2001). In arid and semi-arid environments, such as those found in the Mediterranean area, the climatic conditions are too extreme for most hyphomycetes, therefore the communities shift towards the so-called black yeasts and microcolonial fungi. Black fungi belonging to the genera Hortaea, Sarcinomyces, Coniosporium, Capnobotryella, Exophiala, Knufia and Trimmatostroma form small black colonies on and inside the stone and often occur in close association with lichens (Sterflinger 2005). Due to the thick walls they develop, fungi also resist chemical attack and, therefore, resist biocides and other anti-microbial treatments. Black fungi dwell deep inside granite, calcareous limestone and marble, which they erode by both chemical and mechanical attack. They are the main culprits for the phenomenon of bio-pitting. Due to the strong melanization of the cell walls, stones colonized by these fungi exhibit black spots or may be completely covered by a black layer. In addition to outdoor environments, black fungi are also found on rock surfaces of caves and catacombs (Saarela et al. 2004) especially where the naturally high humidity has been actively decreased in order to suppress algal growth on precious wall paintings.

Cyanobacteria, algae and lichens contribute to the weathering of stone in humid as well as in semi arid and arid environments (Cutler et al. 2013; Lamprinou et al. 2013). They produce a characteristic phenomenon consisting of large green-black stains (Figs. 1 and 2a). The ability of cyanobacteria to adapt to different light qualities by chromatic adaptation, also allows them to develop on stone in archaeological hypogea with low light intensities, as in the case of crypts, caves and catacombs. There, they may be one of the most important deterioration agents for wall paintings and inscriptions. In such subsurface environments Eucapsis, Leptolyngbya, Scytonema and Fischerella have been the most frequently encountered cyanobacterial taxa (Bellezza et al. 2003).
Fig. 1

Sculpture made of white Carrara marble with black discolorations caused by fungi and lichens; Boboli Park, Florence, Italy (Photo: Sterflinger)

Fig. 2

a Green algal and cyanobacterial stains on mortar surfaces in the castle of Rappottenstein (Austria). b Rosy stains characteristic for halophilic and halotolerant archaea and bacteria. (Photos: Ettenauer)

The role of chemoheterotrophic bacteria in the weathering of rock probably depends largely on the environmental conditions: while bacteria might evolve in humid environments and form biofilms within the porous space of building stone, in arid and semi arid environments their occurrence might be limited. However, chemoheterotrophs are not only contributing to the weathering of rock. This group of microorganisms has been shown to have some impact on the consolidation of rock and plaster because they enhance calcium carbonate precipitation by passive and active processes. Strains of Bacillus cereus and Myxococcus xanthus have been used to actively bio-induce calcite precipitation to reinforce monumental stone (Castanier et al. 1999; Ettenauer et al. 2011; Fernandes 2006; Jimenez-Lopez et al. 2007; Piñar et al. 2010; Rodriguez-Navarro et al. 2003; Tiano et al. 1999).

Members of the Actinobacteria phylum inhabit stone more effectively than most of the single-celled bacteria. This fact can be attributed to their filamentous growth and also to their effective utilization of various nitrogen and carbon sources (Saarela et al. 2004). Heterotrophic bacteria include a variety of genera such as Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Paenibacillus, Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, Nocardia, Mycobacterium, Streptomyces and Sarcina, which are the species most frequently isolated from wall paintings (Bassi et al. 1986; Ciferri 1999; Heyrman et al. 1999; Palla et al. 2002; Pangallo et al. 2012; Suihko et al. 2007) but also in caves and catacombs (De Leo et al. 2012). In some cases, especially when organic layers — e.g., saccharose, starch or cellulose — have been applied for the fixation of a wall painting, common indoor fungi like Cladosporium or Alternaria may also inhabit wall paintings and plaster (Fig. 3a, b).

A well-known phenomenon often observed on buildings and wall paintings, especially on those under non-controlled climatic conditions, is the formation of salt efflorescence on the wall surfaces (Amoroso and Fassina 1983). Salt may be available in the wall itself, from biological processes (ammonium salts) or simply due to co-migration with infiltrating water. Due to changes in physical parameters, i.e., temperature or humidity, salts can precipitate on the exposed surfaces. The crystallization of salts on walls and wall paintings results in a destructive effect. Some salts can crystallize to different hydrates, occupying a larger space and producing an additional pressure that eventually leads to material loss and destruction due to cracking and detachment of the walls (Saiz-Jimenez and Laiz 2000; Piñar et al. 2009, 2013b). Moreover, the salt efflorescence mimics the conditions found in extreme habitats favoring the proliferation of halotolerant/halophilic microorganisms. Halophilic species of the Gammaproteobacteria (such as the genera Idiomarina, Salinisphaera and Halomonas) and Firmicutes (Halobacillus and Bacillus spp.), but also species of the phyla Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria (as Rubrobacter) have often been detected on salt-attacked monuments. In addition, the most important genera of archaea found in such environments are Halococcus and Halobacterium (Ettenauer et al. 2010, 2013 submitted; Imperi et al. 2007; Jurado et al. 2012; Laiz et al. 2009; Piñar et al. 2001; 2009; 2013b; Saiz-Jimenez and Laiz 2000). Many of these microorganisms contain carotenoid pigments such as β-carotene, α-bacterioruberin and derivatives, and salinixanthin in their cell membranes (Oren 2009). Their proliferation produces typical rosy stains on the wall surfaces, significantly influencing the optical appearance of wall paintings and historical plaster (Fig. 2a, b).
Fig. 3

a, b Growth of the fungus Cladosporium sp. on a modern wall painting (Karl Weiser 1952), Weyregg, Austria. (Photos: Sterflinger)

Biodeterioration in museums and libraries

In museums and collections, as well as in libraries, fungi play the most important role in biodeterioration. Infections are mostly airborne — with significant seasonal variations — and high numbers of spores can accumulate in dust layers (Kaarakainen et al. 2009). Poor ventilation and non-homogeneous surface temperature can produce water condensation points and local micro-climates with higher water availability than in the rest of an indoor environment. These circumstances are favourable to some fungal species; as a result, these are able to proliferate in places where the overall environmental conditions would otherwise appear to be hostile to microbial life. Typical fungal infections in libraries, colonizing documents made of paper, are caused by species of slow-growing Ascomycetes as well as mitosporic xerophilic fungi (fungi that thrive in materials with a low water activity, i.e., a w = 0.70–0.85) of the genera Aspergillus, Paecilomyces, Chrysosporium, Penicillium and Cladosporium (Pinzari and Montanari 2011). Nevertheless, it is worth noting on special cases of mono-specific infections inside compactus shelving, which have been attributed mainly to fungal species belonging to the Eurotium genera, such as Eurotium halophilicum (Montanari et al. 2012).

A well-known phenomenon that some authors attribute to fungal activity on paper is the so-called “foxing”, consisting of small and isolated rusty red-brownish spots which are often not directly linked to structural degradation of the substratum (Gallo and Pasquariello 1989). Since the earliest studies, foxed spots have been controversially attributed to biological agents (fungi and bacteria) or to chemical factors (iron oxidation, organic and inorganic dust particles, etc.). Recent studies on the foxing problem, both via scanning electron microscopy, and by chemical and microbiological analysis, also led to inconclusive results (Arai 2000; Choi 2007), but recent research has agreed on the fungal nature of the phenomenon (Michaelsen et al. 2009, 2010; Rakotonirainy et al. 2007) and on the implication of bacteria in the deterioration of paper (De Paolis and Lippi 2008; Michaelsen et al. 2010).

A very different infection can occur in libraries and archives when water suddenly becomes available, such as in the case of flooding. In this case, molds associated with water damage consist of fungal species that need a high water activity. These molds can produce coloured stains (i.e., Chaetomium spp., Monoascus spp., and Epicoccum spp.), strong odours (i.e., Trichoderma spp.) and toxic compounds (i.e., Stachybotrys spp.).

Fungal degradation of library materials and paintings causes different kinds of damage depending on the species of organism responsible for the attack and the characteristics of the substratum. Damage can occur because of mechanical stress, production of staining compounds or enzymatic action (Blyskal 2009; López-Miras et al. 2013; Pinzari et al. 2010; Santos et al. 2009; Sterflinger 2010). Most of the filamentous fungi associated with the damage of paper and oil paintings on canvas can dissolve cellulose fibres with the action of cellulolytic enzymes, or may discolour the support, dissolve glues and inks or degrade the oil binders (Fig. 4a).
Fig. 4

a White fungus growing in the craquelees of an oil painting (Stift Lilienfeld, Austria); b growth of black fungi on the wall paintings of the Paulus grotto near Ephesus, Turkey. (Photos: Sterflinger)

The degradation of documents made of parchment — which is mainly composed of collagen — is a complex process, which involves the chemical oxidative deterioration of amino acid chains and hydrolytic cleavage of the peptide structure. Microorganisms can hydrolyze collagen fibres and other protein-based materials, but can also modify the inorganic components, or produce pigments and organic acids which discolour the parchment. Bacteria displaying proteolytic activities play a major role in the deterioration of ancient documents and books made of parchment. Species belonging to the genera Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Virgibacillus and Micromonospora have been isolated from deteriorated parchments (Kraková et al. 2012). In addition, some alkaliphilic bacteria (microbes that thrive in environments with a pH of 9 to 11) and several species of the Actinobacteria have been detected in connexion with a typical damage phenomenon, namely a parchment discoloration consisting of purple spots (Pinzari et al. 2012; Piñar et al. 2011; Strzelczyk and Karbowska-Berent 2000). Parchment also provides good conditions for the development of proteolytic fungi, among which numerous representatives of Ascomycetes such as Chaetomium and Gymnoascus, as well as mitosporic fungi in the genera Acremonium, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium, Epicoccum, Trichoderma, and Verticillium.

Biodeterioration of human remains and related buried or exhibited materials

Very special cases of biodeterioration occur whenever nutrient-rich materials are involved and the climate is non-controlled. This is the case for mummies and related materials, such as clothes, documents or stuffing materials buried or exhibited; conserved in churches and crypts (Jurado et al. 2010; Pangallo et al. 2013; Piombino-Mascali et al. 2011; Piñar et al. 2013b). A very impressive example of this kind of deterioration is represented by the mummies of the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Italy. First observations revealed a heavy mold contamination on the surface of the mummies, but deep molecular analyses revealed complex microbial communities, consisting of bacteria, archaea, and fungi, colonizing the mummies and related materials. Sequences related to specialized microorganisms belonging to taxa well known for their cellulolytic and proteolytic activities were detected on cellulosic and keratin- and collagen-rich materials, respectively. Additionally, sequences related to the human skin microbiome and to some pathogenic bacteria (order Clostridiales) and fungi (genus Phialosimplex) were identified on the mummies. There are also other well-known examples which show the colonization of preserved bodies by opportunistic fungi, such as the case of the restoration of the body of Ramses II, performed in Paris in 1976–1977 (Mouchacca 1985) and the high fungal contamination of the air and dust of the Egyptian mummy chamber at the Baroda Museum in India (Arya et al. 2001). Additionally, saprophytic fungi and bacteria were isolated from a mummy from the collection of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Croatia (Čavka et al. 2010). All these studies clearly demonstrate that specialized microorganisms are threatening the conservation of human remains and related materials, and that high concentrations of air-borne fungal spores may even pose a potential health risk for visitors (Piñar et al. 2013b).

To kill or not to kill? Antimicrobial treatments in restoration and conservation

For disinfection of recent and progressive microbiological damage, a limited range of physical and chemical methods are available (Allsopp et al. 2004). Chemical treatments include liquid biocides and fumigation with gases. The choice of an appropriate biocide is limited by the European Union’s Biocidal Products Directive (BPD) ( Although the number of chemical classes listed by Paulus (2004) includes a wide variety, such as alcohols, aldehydes, phenols, acids, acid esters, amides, carbamates, dibenzamidines, pyridines, azoles, heterocyclics, activated halogen compounds, surface active agents, organometallics and oxidizing agents, the number of products suitable for cultural heritage is comparatively limited because only a small number of agents have been tested with respect to their compatibility with historic materials, such as pigments, organic binders or paper, and only a very few studies exist on the long term effects of the biocides, such as possible colour changes or degradation products. Biocides frequently used in restoration are: (1) formaldehyde releasers (Sterflinger and Sert 2006; Pinar et al. 2009), (2) quaternary ammonium compounds with an optimal chain length of C14–C16 (Diaz-Herraiz et al. 2013), (3) isothiazolinone, a more recent biocide, which was documented to be not only effective but even preventive on paper objects (Polo et al. 2010) and 4) the most common disinfectant used in microbiology: ethanol can also have a good fungitoxic effect if the contact time is at least 2–3 min (Nittérus 2000b). A broad spectrum of chemical and non-chemical mass treatments has been utilized to kill microfungi attacking paper objects in an attempt to inhibit degradation (Magaudda 2004). Ethylene oxide (EtO) fumigation is banned in some countries because it is extremely toxic, but it still represents the most efficacious system for mass treatment of mouldy library materials. Gamma radiation is very effective against fungi and their spores. Since the dose for fungi must be in excess of 10–20 kGy (Nittérus 2000a), this method also affects many materials and its application is restricted. The application of gamma rays can result in cumulative depolymerisation of the underlying cellulose and in severe ageing characteristics (Adamo et al. 1998; Butterfield 1987).

Besides the compatibility with the materials of the treated artefacts, the most challenging aspect of biocide treatments is the fact that, in many cases, objects are infested by a mixed community of microorganisms with different levels of susceptibility towards the chemical compound applied. For microbiologists it is quite easy to understand that a biocide treatment might therefore exert a selective pressure on the microbial community and, in the worst case, the community may be turned into one that is less sensitive or even resistant to the biocides, and might become even more harmful to the object. Prominent and notorious examples are the so-called Cave of St. Paul in Ephesus (Turkey) and the wall paintings of Lascaux (France). In the Cave of St. Paul, a massive algal and cyanobacterial bloom covered the early Christian wall paintings. After several treatments with quaternary ammonium compounds, a more resistant community — which included melanized fungi — developed, causing severe aesthetical damage to the surfaces (Pillinger et al. 2008) (Fig. 4b). In the Lascaux Caves, a spectacular series of biocide treatments were carried out, starting in 1963, with the last being reported in 2009 (Martin-Sanchez et al. 2012). Here, antibiotics, such as penicillin, streptomycin and kanamycin — but also formol (10 % aqueous solution of formaldehyde), various products based on benzalkonium chloride and isothiazolinone — were applied. These successive treatments triggered the development of white fungal stains caused by Fusarium solani, the growth of resistant Pseudomonas fluorescens strains and finally, the growth of melanized fungal species, such as Ochroconis lascauxensis, O. anomala and Exophiala castellanii (Saiz-Jimenez et al. 2012).

In contrast to this, good results were achieved against a mono-specific infestation of Aspergillus glaucus inhabiting the painting and fixation layer of the 12th century wooden ceiling in Zillis (Switzerland). There, the individual wooden panels of the ceiling were successfully treated with the application of organotin (TBTO), a biocide that is efficient but which has been abandoned in Europe because of its high environmental toxicity. However, also in Zillis, the most important control factor was a system for climate control (Bläuer-Böhm et al. 1997; Böhm et al. 2001).

In the past — especially in the 1960s and 1970s — a number of highly toxic organochloride compounds like lindane or pentachlorophenole (PCB) were used for decontamination of wooden objects and textiles. Since these agents are chemically very stable, they might still persist in many of the objects treated and thus are a health risk for restorers that handle these objects today. Other past treatments might hamper or falsify biological, chemical or physical analysis. Fumigation with ethylenoxide, for example, interferes with biological analysis since it intercalates with DNA and RNA which cannot be recovered anymore (Michaelsen et al. 2013). The lack of documentation in the past complicates today’s restoration and conservation work. Today, documentation of objects and their restoration history is one of the most important responsibilities in conservation as a basis for our progeny.

Treatments and monitoring

One of the major obstacles in treating contaminated art works with biocides and physical methods like Gamma radiation or heat was, and still is, the lack of appropriate monitoring methods. For the taxon analysis of microbial communities on art works, it is widely accepted that not all fungi, and only an extremely small fraction of archaea and bacteria, can be cultivated on laboratory media and that molecular methods based on DNA are necessary to evaluate the microbial diversity in a sample (Ettenauer et al. 2012; González and Saiz-Jimenez 2005; Laiz et al. 2003; Michaelsen et al. 2006; Piñar et al. 2001; Schabereiter-Gurtner et al. 2001). Curiously, viable cell counts are still the method of choice to prove microbial activity versus non-activity, if any test is carried out to monitor the effect of an antimicrobial treatment at all. Since the late 1980s, when it was generally agreed that microorganisms played a considerable role in the preservation of art objects and historical buildings, significant effort was applied to ascertaining the biodiversity in the component materials of works of art. This was an important basis for innovative and optimized preservation concepts. Today, it is absolutely necessary to complement these data by studying the physiological activity of the various microbes on and in materials (a) in order to get a deeper understanding of biodeterioration processes, (b) to be able to monitor the effect and success of antimicrobial treatments and (c) to develop alternative and non-toxic treatment methods, e.g., special climatization concepts in order to stop or to slow down the biodeteriorative action of the microorganisms. In the past, several attempts were made to quantify microbial activity based on chemical reactions: Sterflinger et al. (1994) developed a non destructive method, the “respiration bell-jar” to trap CO2, in order to monitor respiration on stone surfaces. Redox indicators such as triphenytetrazoliumchloride were used to confirm and evaluate microbial activity on decaying stones (Warscheid 1990). Recently, many companies have offered luminometers that detect and quantify ATP in swab samples and give an estimation of biological activity on surfaces like paper, paintings or other materials (Berthold and Tarkkanen 2013; Rakotonirainy and Arnold 2008). While these methods give a rough estimation of the microbial activity in general, analysing the expression of genes would give detailed information about the metabolic state and about the biodeterioration process and potential — as in, for example, following the activity of cellulolytic and keratinolytic enzymes on paper and parchment (Kraková et al. 2012). Although RT qPCR is a routine tool for scientific questions nowadays, it is still not used for routine monitoring of treatments, and studies on RNA in samples of cultural heritage are still rare (Martin Sanchez et al. 2013; Michaelsen et al. 2013; Portillo et al. 2008, 2009). This is because the costs for molecular analysis are still high in relation to the overall costs that are usually available for the restoration and conservation of an object. However, recent genomics and transcriptomics technology opens more possibilities to understanding the activity and function of whole microbial communities. Sequencing of meta-transcriptomes and metagenomes, with the aid of next-generation sequencing technology, could assist in understanding how historic materials are attacked by microbes, how microbes interact with those materials and with each other (e.g., in a biofilm), and in monitoring specifically the effect of biocide treatments on the viability, the function and possible community shifts. This would also help to overcome the so-called “viable but not cultivable” state in bacteria that can occur as a reaction to antibiotic and biocide treatments (Oliver 2009).


The most important factors for prevention of biogenic damage on historic objects are: (1) climate control, (2) frequent cleaning and (3) phenomenological monitoring (Barton and Wellheiser 1985; Dicus 2000; Pinzari 2011; Sterflinger 2010). The importance of simple cleaning is still underestimated, despite the fact that it is well known that dust layers on objects carry high numbers of fungal spores and bacteria, and also serve as a nutrient source for those organisms. Microbiologists must increase the awareness of these preventative measures by consulting with and instructing restorers, preservationists and museum curators. We must learn from the mistakes made with biocide treatments in the past, and apply the following principles:
  1. (1)

    More emphasis must be focused on simple prevention measures such as the cleaning of dust layers and frequent observation of objects.

  2. (2)

    Biocide treatments must be applied with extreme caution and only after a stringent series of tests adapted to the requirements of a particular object. In restoration and conservation, exceptional rules are necessary for the application of efficient toxic substances, which may be not listed in the EU biocide directive.

  3. (3)

    More effort is necessary in the development of alternative decontamination methods, e.g., the gamma radiation (Magaudda 2004) modification of light (Albertano et al. 2005) and micro-climates (Camuffo 1998; Pinzari and Montanari 2011).

  4. (4)

    Monitoring methods must be optimized in order to be able to assess the effects of conservation treatments, climate change or biocide application. This could be done based on state of the art microbiological methods such as genome and transcriptome sequencing.

  5. (5)

    In the case where we cannot ensure that a freshly excavated object can be preserved and protected against biodeterioration, it should remain buried in soil or under layers of paint or plaster (e.g., for wall paintings) until better methods are available for preservation. A paradigm change is necessary in order to learn that not everything that is discovered must (or can) be exhibited and opened to the public.




G. Piñar is financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project “Elise-Richter V194-B20”. We further thank the VIBT EQ GmbH for supporting work on rock inhabiting fungi in the VIBT Extremophile Center. We thank the “Wien Museum” and the “Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien” for kind help and good cooperation.


  1. Adamo M, Giovanotti M, Magaudda G, Plossi-Zappala M, Rocchetti F, Rossi G (1998) Effect of gamma rays on pure cellulose paper as a model for the study of treatment of biological recovery of biodeteriorated books. Restaurator 19:41–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albertano P, Bruno L, Bellezza S (2005) New strategies for the monitoring and control of cyanobacterial films on valuable lithic faces. Plant Biosyst 139:311–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allsopp D (2011) Worldwide wastage: the economics of biodeterioration. Microbiol Tod 38:150–153Google Scholar
  4. Allsopp D, Seal K, Gaylarde C (2004) Introduction to biodeterioration. Cambridge Univ Press, 237 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Amoroso GG, Fassina V (1983) Stone decay and conservation. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  6. Arai H (2000) Foxing caused by fungi: twenty-five years of study. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 46:181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arya A, Shah AR, Sadasivan S (2001) Indoor aeromycoflora of Baroda museum and deterioration of Egyptian mummy. Curr Sci 81:793–799Google Scholar
  8. Barton JP, Wellheiser JG (1985) An ounce of prevention: a handbook on disaster contingency planning for archives, libraries and record centres. Toronto Area Archivists Group Education FoundationGoogle Scholar
  9. Bassi M, Ferrari A, Realini M, Sorlini C (1986) Red stains on the Certosa of Pavia a case of biodeterioration. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 22:201–205Google Scholar
  10. Bastian F, Alabouvette C (2009) Lights and shadows on the conservation of a rock art cave: the case of Lascaux cave. Int J Speleol 38:55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bellezza S, Paradossi G, De Philippis R, Albertano P (2003) Leptolyngbya strains from Roman hypogea: cytochemical and physico-chemical characterisation of exopolysaccharides. J Appl Phycol 15:193–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Berthold F, Tarkkanen V (2013) Luminometer development in the last four decades: recollections of two entrepreneurs. Luminescence 28. doi: 10.1002/bio.2459
  13. Bläuer-Böhm C, Rustishauser H, Nay MA (1997) Die romanische Bilderdecke der Kirche St. Martin in Zillis. Grundlagen zu Konservierung und Pflege. Verlag Paul Haupt Bern, 416 ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Blyskal B (2009) Fungi utilizing keratinous substrates. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 63:631–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Böhm C, Zehnder K, Domeisen H, Arnold A (2001) Climate control for the passive conservation of the Romanesque painted wooden ceiling in the church of Zillis (Switzerland). Stud Conserv 46:251–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Butterfield FJ (1987) The potential long-term effects of gamma radiation on paper. Stud Conserv 32:181–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Camuffo D (1998) Microclimate for cultural heritage. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 415 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. Cappitelli F, Fermo P, Vechi R, Piazzalunga A, Valli G, Zanardini E, Sorlini C (2009) Chemical–physical and microbiological measurements for indoor air quality assessment at the Ca’Granda Historical Archive, Milan (Italy). Water Air Soil Pollut 201:109–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Castanier S, Le Mètayer-Levrel G, Perthuisot JP (1999) Carbonates precipitation and limestone genesis – the microbiogeologist point of view. Sediment Geol 126:9–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Čavka M, Glasnović A, Janković I, Šikanjić PR, Perić B, Brkljačić B, Mlinarić-Missoni E, Škrlin J (2010) Microbiological analysis of a mummy from the archeological museum in Zagreb. Coll Antropol 34:803–805PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Choi S (2007) Foxing on paper: a literature review. J Amer Inst Conserv 46:137–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ciferri O (1999) Microbial degradation of painting. Appl Environ Microbiol 65:879–885PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Cutler NA, Viles HA, Ahmad S, McCabe S, Smith BJ (2013) Algal ‘greening’ and the conservation of stone heritage structures. Sci Total Environ 442:152–164PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. De Leo F, Iero A, Zammit G, Urzi CE (2012) Chemoorganotrophic bacteria isolated from biodeteriorated surfaces in cave and catacombs. Int J Speleol 41:125–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. De Paolis MR, Lippi D (2008) Use of metabolic and molecular methods for the identification of a Bacillus strain isolated from paper affected by foxing. Microbiol Res 16:121–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Diaz-Herraiz M, Jurado V, Cuezva S, Laiz L, Pallecchi P, Tiano P, Sanchez-Moral S, Saiz-Jimenez C (2013) The actinobacterial colonization of Etruscan paintings. Sci Rep 3:1440. doi: 10.1038/srep01440 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dicus DH (2000) One response to a collection wide mould outbreak: how bad can it be, how good can it get? J Amer Inst Conserv 39:85–105Google Scholar
  28. Ettenauer J, Sterflinger K, Piñar G (2010) Cultivation and molecular monitoring of halophilic microorganisms inhabiting an extreme environment presented by a salt-attacked monument. Int J Astrobiol 9:59–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ettenauer J, Piñar G, Sterflinger K, Gonzalez-Muñoz MT, Jroundi F (2011) Molecular monitoring of the microbial dynamics occurring on historical limestone buildings during and after the in situ application of different bio-consolidation treatments. Sci Total Environ 409:5337–5352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ettenauer J, Piñar G, Lopandic K, Spangl B, Ellersdorfer G, Voitl C, Sterflinger K (2012) Microbes on building materials — evaluation of DNA extraction protocols as common basis for molecular analysis. Sci Total Environ 439:44–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ettenauer J, Jurado V, Piñar G, Santner M, Saiz-Jimenez C, Sterflinger K (2013) Salt-loving microorganisms are responsible for rosy biofilms of three historical buildings. Nature Reviews (submitted)Google Scholar
  32. Fernandes F (2006) Applied microbiology and biotechnology in the conservation of stone cultural heritage materials. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 73:291–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gallo F, Pasquariello F (1989) Foxing, ipotesi sull’origine biologica. Boll Ist Cent Patol Libro 43:136–176Google Scholar
  34. González JM, Saiz-Jimenez C (2005) Application of molecular nucleic acid-based techniques for the study of microbial communities in monuments and artworks. Int Microbiol 8:189–194PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Heyrman J, Merga J, Deny R, Swings J (1999) The use of fatty acid methyl ester analysis (FAME) for the identification of heterotrophic bacteria present on three mural paintings showing severe damage by microorganisms. FEMS Microbiol Lett 181:55–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Imperi F, Caneva G, Cancellieri L, Ricci MA, Sodo A, Visca P (2007) The bacterial aetiology of rosy discoloration of ancient wall paintings. Environ Microbiol 9:2894–2902PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jimenez-Lopez C, Rodriguez-Navarro C, Piñar G, Carrillo-Rosua FJ, Rodriguez-Gallego M, Gonzalez-Muñoz MT (2007) Consolidation of degraded ornamental porous limestone stone by calcium carbonate precipitation induced by the microbiota inhabiting the stone. Chemosphere 68:1929–1936PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jurado V, Porca E, Pastrana MP, Cuezva S, Fernandez-Cortes A, Saiz-Jimenez C (2010) Microbiological study of bulls of indulgence of the 15th–16th centuries. Sci Total Environ 408:3711–3715PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jurado V, Miller AZ, Alias-Villegas C, Laiz L, Saiz-Jimenez C (2012) Rubrobacter bracarensis sp. nov., a novel member of the genus Rubrobacter isolated from a biodeteriorated monument. Syst Appl Microbiol 35:306–309PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kaarakainen P, Rintala H, Vepsalainen A, Hyvarinene A, Nevalainen A, Meklin T (2009) Microbial content of house dust samples determined with qPCR. Sci Total Environ 407:4673–4680PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Koestler RJ, Koestler VH, Charola AE, Nieto Fernandez FE (2003) Art, biology and conservation: biodeterioration of works of art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  42. Kraková L, Chovanová K, Selim SA, Šimonovičová A, Puškarová A, Maková A, Pangallo D (2012) A multiphasic approach for investigation of the microbial diversity and its biodegradative abilities in historical paper and parchment documents. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 70:117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Laiz L, Piñar G, Lubitz W, Saiz-Jimenez C (2003) Monitoring the colonisation of monuments by bacteria: cultivation versus molecular methods. Environ Microbiol 5:72–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Laiz L, Miller AZ, Jurado V, Akatova E, Sanchez-Moral S, Gonzalez JM, Dionísio A, Macedo MF, Saiz-Jimenez C (2009) Isolation of five Rubrobacter strains from biodeteriorated monuments. Naturwissenschaften 96:71–79PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lamprinou V, Mammali M, Katsifas EA, Pantazidou AI, Karagouni AD (2013) Phenotypic and molecular biological characterization of cyanobacteria from marble surfaces of treated and untreated sites of Propylaea (Acropolis, Athens). Geomicrobiol J 30:371–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. López-Miras M, Piñar G, Romero-Noguera J, Bolivar-Galiano FC, Ettenauer J, Sterflinger K, Martin-Sanchez I (2013) Microbial communities adhering to the obverse and reverse sides of an oil painting on canvas: identification and evaluation of their biodegradative potential. Aerobiol 29:301–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Magaudda G (2004) The recovery of biodeteriorated books and archive documents through gamma radiation: some considerations on the results achieved. J Cult Herit 5:113–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Martin-Sanchez PM, Nováková A, Bastian F, Alabouvette C, Saiz-Jimenez C (2012) Use of biocides for the control of fungal outbreaks in subterranean environments: the case of the Lascaux Cave in France. Environ Sci Technol 46:3762–3770PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Martin-Sanchez M, Alabouvette C, Bastian F, Saiz-Jimenez (2013) Real-time PCR detection of Ochroconis lascauxensis involved in the formation of black stains in the Lascaux Cave, France. Sci Total Environ 443:478–484PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mesquita N, Portugal A, Videira S, Rodríguez-Echeverría S, Bandeira AML, Santos MJA, Freitas H (2009) Fungal diversity in ancient documents. A case study on the Archive of the University of Coimbra. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 63:626–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Michaelsen A, Pinzari F, Ripka K, Lubitz W, Piñar G (2006) Application of molecular techniques for the identification of fungal communities colonising paper material. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 58:133–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Michaelsen A, Piñar G, Montanari M, Pinzari F (2009) Biodeterioration and restoration of a 16th-century book using a combination of conventional and molecular techniques: a case-study. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 63:161–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Michaelsen A, Piñar G, Pinzari F (2010) Molecular and microscopical investigation of the microflora inhabiting a deteriorated Italian manuscript dated from the 13th-century. Microb Ecol 60:69–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Michaelsen A, Pinzari F, Barbabietola N, Piñar G (2013) Monitoring of the effects of different conservation treatments on paper infecting fungi. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 84:333–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Montanari M, Melloni V, Pinzari F, Innocenti G (2012) Fungal biodeterioration of historical library materials stored in Compactus movable shelves. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 75:83–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mouchaca J (1985) Les champignons. In: Balout DL, Roubet C (eds) La momie de Ramses II. Editions Recherches sur les Civilisations, Paris, pp 119–152Google Scholar
  57. Nittérus M (2000a) Fungi in archives and libraries. A literary survey. Restaurator 21:25–40Google Scholar
  58. Nittérus M (2000b) Ethanol as fungal sanitizer in paper conservation. Restaurator 21:101–115Google Scholar
  59. Oliver JD (2009) Recent findings on the viable but non-culturable state in pathogenic bacteria. FEMS Microbiol Rev 34:415–425PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Oren A (2009) Microbial diversity and microbial abundance in salt-saturated brines: why are the waters of hypersaline lakes red? Nat Resour Environ Issues Vol. 15, Article 49Google Scholar
  61. Palla F, Federico C, Russo R, Anello L (2002) Identification of Nocardia restricta in biodegraded sandstone monuments by PCR and nested-PCR DNA amplification. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 39:85–89PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pangallo D, Chovanova K, Simonovicova A, Ferianc P (2009) Investigation of microbic community isolated from indoor artworks and their environment: identification, biodegradative abilities, and DNA typing. Can J Microbiol 55:277–287PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pangallo D, Krakova L, Chovanova K, Simonovicova A, de Leo F, Urzi C (2012) Analysis and comparison of the microflora isolated from fresco surface and from surrounding air environment through molecular and biodegradative assays. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 28:2015–2027PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pangallo D, Krakova L, Chovanova K, Buckova M, Puskarova A, Simonovicova A (2013) Disclosing a crypt: microbial diversity and degradation activity of the microflora isolated from funeral clothes of Cardinal Peter Pazmany. Mirobiol Res 168:289–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Paulus W (2004) Directory of microbiocides for the protection of materials – a handbook. 2nd edn. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 779 ppGoogle Scholar
  66. Pillinger R, Bratasz L, Weber J, Sterflinger K (2008) Die Wandmalereien in der sogenannten Paulusgrotte von Ephesos Studien zur Ausführungstechnik und Erhaltungsproblematik, Restaurierung und Konservierung. Anz Philos-Hist Klasse 143:71–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Piñar G, Sterflinger K (2009) Microbes and building materials. In: Cornejo DN, Haro JL (eds) Building materials: properties, performance and applications. Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp 163–188Google Scholar
  68. Piñar G, Saiz-Jimenez C, Schabereiter-Gurtner C, Blanco-Varela MT, Lubitz W, Rölleke S (2001) Archaeal communities in two disparate deteriorated ancient wall paintings: detection, identification and temporal monitoring by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 37:45–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Piñar G, Ripka K, Weber J, Sterflinger K (2009) The micro-biota of a sub-surface monument the medieval chapel of St. Virgil (Vienna, Austria). Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 63:851–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Piñar G, Jimenez-Lopez C, Sterflinger K, Ettenauer J, Jroundi F, Fernandez-Vivas A, Gonzalez-Munoz MT (2010) Bacterial community dynamics during the application of a Myxococcus xanthus-inoculated culture medium used for consolidation of ornamental limestone. Microb Ecol 60:15–28PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Piñar G, Pinzari F, Sterflinger K (2011) Modern technologies as basis for the preservation of parchment. In: López Montes AM, Collado Montero F, Medina Flórez V, Espejo Arias T, García Bueno A (eds). 18th International meeting on heritage conservation. Edited by Univ. of Granada. GR 4206–2011 Granada; ISBN: 978-84-338-5339-4. pp:250–253Google Scholar
  72. Piñar G, Garcia-Valles M, Gimeno-Torrente D, Fernandez-Turiel JL, Ettenauer J, Sterflinger K (2013a) Microscopic, chemical, and molecular-biological investigation of the decayed medieval stained window glasses of two Catalonian churches. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad. doi: 10.1016/j.ibiod.2012.02.008 Google Scholar
  73. Piñar G, Piombino-Mascali D, Maixner F, Zink A, Sterflinger K (2013b) Microbial survey of the mummies from the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo. Italy: biodeterioration risk and contamination of the indoor air. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12165 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Pinzari F (2011) Microbial ecology of indoor environments. The ecological and applied aspects of microbial contamination in archives, libraries and conservation environments (Chapter 9). In: Abdul-Wahab Al-Sulaiman SA (ed) Sick building syndrome in public buildings and workplaces. Elsevier, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  75. Pinzari F, Montanari M (2011) Mould growth on library materials stored in compactus-type shelving units (Chapter 11). In: Abdul-Wahab Al-Sulaiman SA (ed) Sick building syndrome in public buildings and workplaces. Elsevier, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  76. Pinzari F, Cialei V, Barbabietola N (2010) Measurement of the micro-aeroflora deteriorating potentialities in the indoor environments. Preserv Sci 7:29–34Google Scholar
  77. Pinzari F, Cialei V, Piñar G (2012) A case study of ancient parchment biodeterioration using variable pressure and high vacuum scanning electron microscopy. In: Historical technology, Materials and conservation: SEM and microanalysis. Meeks N, Cartwright C, Meek A, Mongiatti A (eds). Archetype Publications - International Academic Projects, 1 Birdcage Walk, London, ISBN: 9781904982654Google Scholar
  78. Piombino-Mascali D, Panzer S, Marvelli S, Lösch S, Aufderheide AC, Zink AR (2011) The “Sicily Mummy Project”: first results of the scientific campaigns (2007–2010). In: Geschichte und Tradition der Mumifizierung in Europa. Sörries R (ed). Kasseler Studien zur Sepulkralkultur 18: 25–31Google Scholar
  79. Polo A, Cappitelli F, Brusetti L, Principi P, Villa F, Giacomucci L, Ranalli G, Sorlini C (2010) Feasibility of removing surface deposits on stone using biological and chemical remediation methods. Microb Ecol 60:1–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Portillo MC, Gonzalez JM, Saiz-Jimenez C (2008) Metabolically active microbial communities of yellow and grey colonizations on the walls of Altamira Cave, Spain. J Appl Microbiol 104:681–691PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Portillo MC, Saiz-Jimenez C, Gonzalez JM (2009) Molecular characterization of total and metabolically active bacterial communities of “white colonizations” in the Altamira Cave, Spain. Res Microbiol 160:41–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rakotonirainy MS, Arnold S (2008) Development of a new procedure based on the energy charge measurement using ATP bioluminescence assay for the detection of living mould from graphic documents. Luminescence 23:182–186PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Rakotonirainy MS, Heude E, Lavédrine B (2007) Isolation and attempts of biomolecular characterization of fungal strains associated to foxing on a 19th century book. J Cult Herit 8:126–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Rodriguez-Navarro C, Rodriguez-Gallego M, Chekroun KB, Gonzalez-Munoz MT (2003) Conservation of ornamental stone by Myxococcus xanthus-induced carbonate biomineralization. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:2182–2193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Rosling A, Finlay RD, Gadd GM (2009) Geomycology. Fungal Biol Rev 23:91–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Saarela M, Alakomi HL, Suihko ML, Maunuksela L, Raaska L, Mattila-Sandholm T (2004) Heterotrophic microorganisms in air and biofilm samples from Roman catacombs, with special emphasis on actinobacteria and fungi. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 54:27–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Sabev H, Barratt SR, Handley PS, Greenhalgh M, Robson G (2006) Biodegradation and biodeterioration of manmade polymeric materials. In: Gadd GM (ed) Fungi in biogeochemical cycles. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  88. Saiz-Jimenez C, Laiz L (2000) Occurrence of halotolerant/halophilc bacterial communities in deteriorated monuments. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 46:319–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Saiz-Jimenez C, Miller AZ, Martin-Sanchez PM, Hernandez-Marine M (2012) Uncovering the origin of the black stains in Lascaux Cave in France. Environ Microbiol 14:3220–3231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Santos A, Cerrada A, García S, San Andrés M, Abrusci C, Marquina D (2009) Application of molecular techniques to the elucidation of the microbial community structure of antique paintings. Microb Ecol 58:692–702PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Schabereiter-Gurtner C, Piñar G, Lubitz W, Rölleke S (2001) An advanced molecular strategy to identify bacterial communities on art objects. J Microbiol Methods 45:77–87PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Scheerer S, Ortega-Morales O, Gaylarde C (2009) Microbial deterioration of stone monuments—an updated overview. In Laskin AL, Saraslani S, Gadd G (eds). Adv Microbiol 66: 97–139Google Scholar
  93. Steiger M, Charola AE, Sterflinger K (2011) Weathering and deterioration. In: Siegesmund S, Snethlage R (eds) Stone in architecture. Springer, Berlin, pp 291–304Google Scholar
  94. Sterflinger K (2000) Fungi as geologic agents. Geomicrobiol J 17:97–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Sterflinger K (2005) Black yeasts and meristematic fungi: ecology, diversity and identification. In: Rosa C, Gabor P (eds) Yeast handbook: biodiversity and ecophysiology of yeasts, vol 1. Springer, New York, pp 505–518Google Scholar
  96. Sterflinger K (2010) Fungi: their role in deterioration of cultural heritage. Fungal Biol Rev 24:47–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Sterflinger K, Prillinger H (2001) Molecular taxonomy and biodiversity of rock fungal communities in an urban environment (Vienna, Austria). Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 80:275–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Sterflinger K, Sert H (2006) Biodeterioration and practice of restoration. In: Lefèvre R-A (ed). The materials of the cultural heritage in their environment 8: 157–166Google Scholar
  99. Sterflinger K, Becker TW, Krumbein WE, Warscheid T (1994) The respiration bell jar — a rapid, non destructive technique for the measurement of the activity of mirco-organisms on and in objects of cultural value. In: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfung e.V., 4th international conference: nondestructive testing of works of art: 382–391Google Scholar
  100. Strzelczyk AB, Karbowska J (2000) The role of Streptomycetes in the biodeterioration of historic parchment. Copernicus Univ Press, Torun, 158 ppGoogle Scholar
  101. Suihko ML, Alakomi HL, Gorbushina A, Fortune I, Marquardt J, Saarela M (2007) Characterization of aerobic bacterial and fungal microbiota on surfaces of historic Scottish monuments. Syst Appl Microbiol 30:494–508PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Tiano P, Biagiott L, Mastromei G (1999) Bacterial bio-mediated calcite precipitation for monumental stones conservation: methods of evaluation. J Microbiol Meth 36:139–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Urzì C (2004) Microbial deterioration of rocks and marble monuments in the Mediterranean basin: a review. Corros Rev 22:441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Warscheid T (1990) Untersuchungen zur Biodeterioration von Sandsteinen unter besonderer Berucksichtigung der chemoorganotrophen Bakterien. [Studies on the biodeterioration of sandstones with regards to chemoorganotrophic bacteria.] Technical dissertation 2275. IRB Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences ViennaViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations