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Multiple approach to identify bacteria into archaeological waterlogged wood

  • Autori: Palla, F.; Billeci, N.; Mancuso, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Biodeterioration; SEM; Microbial DNA; Polymerase chain reaction; Internal transcribed spacer
  • OA Link:


This study was carried out in collaboration with Soprintendenza del Mare (SM) that started, since 2004, to plan and realize underwater archaeological parks, such as in the Sicilian islands of Pantelleria (Gadir), Levanzo (Cala Minnola), Ustica (Falconiera), Panarea (Basiluzzo) and Filicudi (Capo Graziano). In situ conservation, as well as virtual exhibitions of the same topics, can contribute to ensure the protection and best fruition of underwater cultural heritage. The focus of this study was the identification of bacterial colonies in waterlogged wood samples from the rostrum of a excellent workmanship, that is very likely one of the wrecks attributed to Sextus Pompey fleet (36 BC) and discovered in Acqualadroni, Messina, Sicily, Italy (2008). Samples were analyzed by light and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), in vitro culture and molecular technique (DNA base techniques). The results, focused on bacterial consortia, allowed us to reveal the presence of Pseudomonas sp., Sphingomonas sp., Xanthomonas sp. besides Marinobacter sp. and Desulforudis audaxviator. A prompt and accurate characterization of bacterial colonization represents one of the preliminary step in preservation/restoration projects, especially for waterlogged wood since the metabolic activity of specific bacteria induce and accelerate the deterioration processes. Although it is reported in a case study, this multiple approach is useful for reveal and identify bacterial colonizing both organic and inorganic artifacts.