Epilithic bacteria play a fundamental role in the conservation of cultural heritage (CH) materials. On stones, bacterial communities cause both degradation and bioprotection actions. Bronze biocorrosion in non-burial conditions is rarely studied. Only few studies have examined the relationship between bacteria communities and the chemical composition of patinas (surface degradation layers). A better comprehension of bacterial communities growing on our CH is fundamental not only to understand the related decay mechanisms but also to foresee possible shifts in their composition due to climate change. The present study aims at (1) characterizing bacterial communities on bronze and marble statues; (2) evaluating the differences in bacterial communities' composition and abundance occurring between different patina types on different statues; and (3) providing indications about a representative bacterial community which can be used in laboratory tests to better understand their influence on artefact decay. Chemical and biological characterization of different patinas were carried out by sampling bronze and marble statues in Bologna and Ravenna (Italy), using EDS/Raman spectroscopy and MinION-based 16SrRNA sequencing. Significant statistical differences were found in bacterial composition between marble and bronze statues, and among marble patinas in different statues and in the same statue. Marble surfaces showed high microbial diversity and were characterized mainly by Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus. Bronze patinas showed low taxa diversity and were dominated by copper-resistant Proteobacteria. The copper biocidal effect is evident in greenish marble areas affected by the leaching of copper salts, where the bacterial community is absent. Here, Ca and Cu oxalates are present because of the biological reaction of living organisms to Cu ions, leading to metabolic product secretions, such as oxalic acid. Therefore, a better knowledge on the interaction between bacteria communities and patinas has been achieved.

Insight on bacteria communities in outdoor bronze and marble artefacts in a changing environment

Timoncini A.;Costantini F.;Bernardi E.;Martini C.;Mugnai F.;Mancuso F. P.;Sassoni E.;Ospitali F.;Chiavari C.
2022

Abstract

Epilithic bacteria play a fundamental role in the conservation of cultural heritage (CH) materials. On stones, bacterial communities cause both degradation and bioprotection actions. Bronze biocorrosion in non-burial conditions is rarely studied. Only few studies have examined the relationship between bacteria communities and the chemical composition of patinas (surface degradation layers). A better comprehension of bacterial communities growing on our CH is fundamental not only to understand the related decay mechanisms but also to foresee possible shifts in their composition due to climate change. The present study aims at (1) characterizing bacterial communities on bronze and marble statues; (2) evaluating the differences in bacterial communities' composition and abundance occurring between different patina types on different statues; and (3) providing indications about a representative bacterial community which can be used in laboratory tests to better understand their influence on artefact decay. Chemical and biological characterization of different patinas were carried out by sampling bronze and marble statues in Bologna and Ravenna (Italy), using EDS/Raman spectroscopy and MinION-based 16SrRNA sequencing. Significant statistical differences were found in bacterial composition between marble and bronze statues, and among marble patinas in different statues and in the same statue. Marble surfaces showed high microbial diversity and were characterized mainly by Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus. Bronze patinas showed low taxa diversity and were dominated by copper-resistant Proteobacteria. The copper biocidal effect is evident in greenish marble areas affected by the leaching of copper salts, where the bacterial community is absent. Here, Ca and Cu oxalates are present because of the biological reaction of living organisms to Cu ions, leading to metabolic product secretions, such as oxalic acid. Therefore, a better knowledge on the interaction between bacteria communities and patinas has been achieved.
Timoncini A.; Costantini F.; Bernardi E.; Martini C.; Mugnai F.; Mancuso F.P.; Sassoni E.; Ospitali F.; Chiavari C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/893464
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