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Open AccessArticle

Bacterial and Fungal Diversity Inside the Medieval Building Constructed with Sandstone Plates and Lime Mortar as an Example of the Microbial Colonization of a Nutrient-Limited Extreme Environment (Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow, Poland)

1
Research and Development for Life Sciences Ltd., 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
2
University of Warsaw, Faculty of Biology, Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Analysis, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
3
University of Warsaw, Faculty of Biology, Department of Bacterial Genetics, 02-096 Warsaw, Poland
4
Wawel Royal Castle, 31-001 Krakow, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(10), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7100416
Received: 15 September 2019 / Revised: 29 September 2019 / Accepted: 1 October 2019 / Published: 3 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity in Extreme Environments)
Biodeterioration is a serious threat to cultural heritage objects and buildings. The deterioration of a given material often incurs irreparable losses in terms of uniqueness and historical value. Hence preventive actions should be taken. One important challenge is to identify microbes involved in the biodeterioration process. In this study, we analyzed the microbial diversity of an ancient architectonical structure of the Rotunda of Sts. Felix and Adauctus, which is a part of the Wawel Royal Castle located in Krakow, Poland. The Rotunda is unavailable to tourists and could be treated as an extreme habitat due to the low content of nutrients coming either from sandstone plates bound with lime mortar or air movement. Microbial diversity was analyzed with the use of the high-throughput sequencing of marker genes corresponding to fragments of 16S rDNA (for Bacteria) and ITS2 (internal transcribed spacer 2) (for Fungi). The results showed that the microbial community adhered to wall surfaces is, to a large extent, endemic. Furthermore, alongside many microorganisms that could be destructive to masonry and mortar (e.g., Pseudomonas, Aspergillus), there were also bacteria, such as species of genera Bacillus, Paenisporosarcina, and Amycolatopsis, that can positively affect wall surface properties by reducing the damage caused by the presence of other microorganisms. We also showed that airborne microorganisms probably have little impact on the biodeterioration process as their abundance in the microbial community adhered to the ancient walls was very low. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial diversity; high-throughput sequencing; sandstone; lime mortar; limited nutrient conditions; extreme environment; biodeterioration microbial diversity; high-throughput sequencing; sandstone; lime mortar; limited nutrient conditions; extreme environment; biodeterioration
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Dyda, M.; Pyzik, A.; Wilkojc, E.; Kwiatkowska-Kopka, B.; Sklodowska, A. Bacterial and Fungal Diversity Inside the Medieval Building Constructed with Sandstone Plates and Lime Mortar as an Example of the Microbial Colonization of a Nutrient-Limited Extreme Environment (Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow, Poland). Microorganisms 2019, 7, 416.

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