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Selected Publication:

PiƱar, G; Sterflinger, K; Pinzari, F; .
(2015): Unmasking the measles-like parchment discoloration: molecular and microanalytical approach.
Environ Microbiol. 2015; 17(2):427-443 FullText FullText_BOKU

Many ancient parchments are defaced by red or purple maculae associated with localized destruction of collagen fibres. Although the main characteristics of this damage were present in most of the manuscripts analysed by many authors, no common microbial or fungal denominator has been found so far, and little or no correspondence between the microbial or fungal species isolated from materials could be addressed. In this study, culture-independent molecular methods and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to identify fungal and bacterial communities on parchments affected by the purple stains. Protocols for c extraction and nucleic-acid-based strategies were selected for assays examining the community structure of fungi and bacteria on biodeteriorated parchment. Both SEM and molecular analysis detected the presence of bacterial and fungal cells in the damaged areas. Halophilic, halotolerant proteolytic bacterial species were selected by the saline environment provided by the parchment samples. As common microbial denominators, members of the Actinobacteria, mainly Saccharopolyspora spp. and species of Aspergillus, were detected in all investigated cases. It is proposed that a relationship exists between the phenomenon of purple spots on ancient parchments and that of the red heat' phenomenon, known to be present in some products manufactured with marine salt.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Pinar Guadalupe
Sterflinger-Gleixner Katja

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