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Bacterial diversity associated with archaeological waterlogged wood: ribosomal RNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)

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The identity of bacteria in waterlogged archaeological wood responsible for degradation was investigated using novel isolation techniques and molecular DNA technology. Wood in cultural heritage and archaeological sites is vulnerable to bacterial attack, with bacterially driven wood-decay predominating when wood is buried in sediments. In the research presented, DNA was extracted directly from wood samples and the diversity of bacterial species was determined. Using cultures isolated by project partners from archaeological wood of the same origin at 19 different European sites, a comparison of the DNA of nine culturable isolates and DNA from species commonly appearing in 56 independent molecular fingerprints was made. Results show that sequences representing bacteria from the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides (CFB) complex and the Pseudomonas group were commonly recovered, with relatives of the Cellvibrio and Brevundimonas groups also present. These observations are the first to provide a molecular link between environmental samples where degradation had occurred and cultured organisms, although the precise role and capability of the bacterial strains remains obscure. (C) 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-116
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Biodeterioration & Biodegradation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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