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Big Sound and Extreme Fungi—Xerophilic, Halotolerant Aspergilli and Penicillia with Low Optimal Temperature as Invaders of Historic Pipe Organs

VIBT-Extremophile Center, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Muthgasse 18, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungi from Extreme Environments)
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Recent investigations have shown that xerophilic fungi may pose a biodeterioration risk by threatening objects of cultural heritage including many types of materials, including wood, paint layers, organic glues or leather and even metal. Historic—and also new built—pipe organs combine all those materials. In this study, halotolerant aspergilli and penicillia with low optimal temperatures were shown to be the most frequent invaders of pipe organs. The fungi form white mycelia on the organic components of the organs with a clear preference for the bolus paint of the wooden pipes, the leather-made hinges of the stop actions and all parts fixed by organic glue. Physiological tests showed that the strains isolated from the instruments all show a halotolerant behavior, although none was halophilic. The optimum growth temperature is below 20 °C, thus the fungi are perfectly adapted to the cool and relatively dry conditions in the churches and organs respectively. The de-novo genome sequences analyses of the strains are currently ongoing and will reveal the genomic basis for the halotolerant behavior of the fungi. View Full-Text
Keywords: pipe organs; xerophilic fungi; biodeterioration pipe organs; xerophilic fungi; biodeterioration

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Sterflinger, K.; Voitl, C.; Lopandic, K.; Piñar, G.; Tafer, H. Big Sound and Extreme Fungi—Xerophilic, Halotolerant Aspergilli and Penicillia with Low Optimal Temperature as Invaders of Historic Pipe Organs. Life 2018, 8, 22.

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