Occurrence of Aspergillus allahabadii on sandstone at Bayon temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Hongli Hu, Shunping Ding, Yoko Katayama, Asako Kusumi, Shu Xian Li, Ronald P. de Vries, Jing Wang, Xiao Zhang Yu, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Microbial biofilms on surface of sandstone is detrimental to the integrity of the substratum material and they are biodeteriogens responsible for the damage of sandstone over time. We observed that fungi formed extensive biofilms on areas previously colonized by autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial biofilms causing darkening of the stone surface. Appearance of fungi on these biofilms has resulted in removal of the preformed biofilm through extensive examination of sandstone surfaces in Angkor Thom, Cambodia. One fungus, isolated from the surface with capability of removing biofilms, was purified and identified as Aspergillus allahabadii during our survey and sampling of microbial biofilms at Bayon temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia in 2008. Ribosomal RNA (ITS and 5.8S) and β-tubulin gene sequences were phylogenetically analyzed to confirm the taxonomy of this strain. In addition, its protein profile and enzyme assays were also carried out and β-galactosidase was the highest among 7 enzymes tested. Our results suggest that fungi may have an important role in removing microbial biofilms on surfaces of stone and potential mechanisms and applications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-117
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspergillus allahabadii
  • Biodeterioration
  • Cultural heritage
  • Extracellular enzymes
  • Microbial biofilm
  • Sandstone


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