The Development of a DNA Microarray for the Rapid Identification of Moulds on Works of Art

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Neugebauer, Wibke; Leinberger, Dirk M.; Petersen, Karin; Schumacher, Ulrike; Bachmann, Till T.; Krekel, Christoph;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 55, Number 4, p.258-273 (2010)


This paper describes the development and testing of a highly specific molecular tool for the identification of moulds on works of art, based on the two internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1 and ITS2) of fungal ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA). The conventional identification of fungi in microbiology laboratories by means of phenotypic features and physiological tests is timeconsuming and often not capable of detecting all the species living on and in the substrate. Furthermore, fungi that are dead, which may also represent a potential health threat to the conservator, cannot be identified by these conventional methods. To complement the microbiological identification, a diagnostic DNA microarray was developed for the rapid and simultaneous detection and highly specific identification of 39 potentially pathogenic fungal species and 17 genera inhabiting works of art. Because this technique uses DNA hybridization-based genotypic identification, it provides a cultivation-independent characterization of moulds on works of art.