Gilded woodcarving alteration: assessment of filamentous fungi action

Tânia Rosado, Mara Silva, Catarina Pereira, José Mirão, António Candeias, Ana Teresa Caldeira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Biodegradation and biodeterioration by living organisms can cause massive damage to historical monuments. Fungi are a major responsible in wood degradation sharing a single strategy for degrading wood polymers by secreting enzymes that break down the main constituents of wood such as cellulose or xylose. In this work, the presence and participation of fungi in woodcarving and their biological activity were examined by monitoring their cellulolytic/xylanolytic activity. Isolated fungi of the genera Penicillium, Cladosporium and Mucor showed the highest cellulose and xylose activity and are therefore the main responsible for the structural deterioration of wood support of the altars of the Espírito Santo Church, évora, Portugal. The application of combined strategies allow a fast and efficient screening to signalise the main biodegradative agents in gilded woodcarving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Conservation Science
Issue numberSpecialIssue
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradation
  • Cellulolytic/xylanolytic activity
  • Fungal development
  • Gilded woodcarving
  • Wood decay


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