We investigated microorganisms dwelling on rocks, walls and paintings in two votive chapels built in grottoes in the Region of Campania, Italy. One grotto was near the coast in an area with a Mediterranean climate, and the other grotto was inland on a mountain in an area with a cold continental climate. Color and distribution of biofilms in various areas of the grottoes were examined. Microbial components of biofilms were identified by light and electron microscopy and by molecular techniques (DNA analyses and Automatic rRNA Intergenic Spacer Analysis). Biofilms were also analyzed by X-ray diffraction to detect inorganic constituents deriving from rocks in the grottoes and walls of the churches and by X-ray fluorescence to detect the elements that made up the pigments of the mural paintings; optical cross sections were used to observe their relationships with substrata. Species of eubacteria, cyanobacteria and green algae were identified. Some of these species occurred in both grottoes, while others were exclusive to only one of the grottoes. The diversity of species, their common or exclusive occurrence in the grottoes, the relationships among microbial communities and the differences in color and distribution of biofilms were discussed on the basis of the different climatic factors affecting the two grottoes and the different inorganic components of substrata.
|Titolo:||Biofilms in churches built in grottoes|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|