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Title

Microbial communities in caves: ecology, physiology, and effects on Paleolythic paintings

AuthorsLaiz Trobajo, L. ; González Grau, Juan Miguel ; Sáiz-Jiménez, Cesáreo
KeywordsCave bacteria
Actinobacteria
Substrate utilisation
Crystal formation
Issue Date2003
PublisherMetropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
Yale University
CitationArt, biology and conservation: biodeterioration of works of art: 210-225 (2003)
AbstractIn this review we report on the culturable and non culturable microbial communities present in caves. A high diversity was found using both methods, however, identification methods including PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes (16S rDNA) and community fingerprinting by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) resulted into a greater bacterial taxonomic diversity, and allowed the detection of unexpected and unknown bacteria. Growth of cave bacteria at different temperatures was investigated. The data indicate that most cave bacteria can grow at temperatures in the range 5-45°C. However a higher diversity was obtained when incubation was carried out at 13°C, although incubation at this temperature drastically reduced the number of sporoactinomycete isolates. At 13°C the bacteria oxidized on average 87% of carbon sources provided while incubation at 28°C reduced to about 50% carbon source utilization. Selected actinobacteria isolates were tested for the formation of crystals. Strains from all tested genera except isolates of Gordonia and Nocardia produced vaterite and/or calcite. Production of Mg-calcite was restricted to strains of Brachybacterium, Paenibacillus, Rhodococcus and Streptomyces, while struvite was only precipitated by an unidentified isolate. These findings indicate that actinomycetes may play a role in the formation of mineral deposits in caves.
Description28 pages, 8 figures, 1 table, 23 references. Papers in this volume were presented at a conference held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 13-15, 2002.
Publisher version (URL)http://library.metmuseum.org/record=b1360333
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/73400
ISBN978-0300104820
1-58839-107-8
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Libros y partes de libros
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