Wooden art objects and the museum environment: identification and biodegradative characteristics of isolated microflora

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AimsThe identification of culturable microbial communities on wooden art objects and from indoor air, and the analysis of their biodegradative properties.Methods and ResultsCommon and newly-developed agar media were used for the isolation of fungal and bacterial microflora. The identification was carried out by traditional methods and by the sequencing of 16S or 18S rDNA PCR products. Different plate assays were employed to screen the lignolytic and cellulolytic activities of the isolated microflora. Interesting bacteria were isolated from art objects even though the fungi were the principal contaminants of art works. Various fungal and bacterial species exhibited their lignolytic and cellulolytic activity by the decolorization of Remazol Brilliant Blue R, Phenol Red, Azure B and Ostazin Brilliant Red H-3B.ConclusionsThe microbial communities on wooden art objects exposed in an indoor environment were identified. The study showed the biodegradative power of many microorganisms, and new data were added to this field barely investigated.Significance and Impact of the StudyBy the development of new culture media and the evaluation of different biodegradative plate assays, a strategy for the analysis of microflora in wooden art objects was established. Several aspects of the study could be also exploited for biotechnology applications.

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