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Fungal biodeterioration of stained-glass windows in monuments from Belém do Pará (Brazil)

Corrêa Pinto, A.M., Palomar, T., Alves, L.C., da Silva, S.H.M., Monteiro, R.C., Macedo, M.F., Vilarigues, M.G.
International biodeterioration & biodegradation 2019 v.138 pp. 106-113
Aspergillus, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Fusarium oxysporum, Trichoderma longibrachiatum, biodegradation, chemical composition, crystals, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, fungal communities, fungi, glass, historic sites, hyphae, light microscopy, microbial activity, monuments, mycelium, scanning electron microscopy, silicates, spores, Brazil, Europe
The most prominent historical buildings in Belém do Pará (Northern Brazil) have modernist stained-glass windows, which were commissioned from Europe since the end of the 19th century. Some of them present biodegradation; however, there is no information about the microbial activity on them. The present work is focused on the biodeterioration by fungi on some of these Modern stained-glass windows. The fungal communities were collected, isolated and then identified by means of molecular methods. Additionally, a laboratory-based biodeterioration experiment was carried out to assess the fungal activity on replica glass samples with three different chemical compositions. The replica samples were inoculated with a four-fungal species mixture and incubated under optimal growth conditions for 5 months. Optical microscopy, μ-PIXE, SEM-EDS and FTIR-ATR were performed to evaluate the biodeterioration of the soda-lime silicate glasses. This multidisciplinary approach showed that the inoculated spores (Aspergillus arenarioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Hortaea werneckii, and Trichoderma longibrachiatum) were able to form substantial mycelia in all replica glass samples. The main alterations observed were small crystals, hyphae fingerprints and a slight decrease on the glass surface smoothness. Despite the aforementioned damages, the soda-lime silicate glass compositions showed high resistance against the inoculated fungal species.