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Naturwissenschaften. 2009 Jul;96(7):863-8. doi: 10.1007/s00114-009-0540-y. Epub 2009 Apr 30.

Impact of biocide treatments on the bacterial communities of the Lascaux Cave.

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UMR Microbiologie du Sol et de l'Environnement, INRA-Université de Bourgogne, BP 86510, 21065, Dijon Cedex, France.


The Lascaux Cave contains a remarkable set of paintings from the Upper Palaeolithic. Shortly after discovery in 1940, the cave was modified for public viewing and, in 2001, was invaded by a Fusarium solani species complex. Benzalkonium chloride was used from 2001 to 2004 to eliminate the fungal outbreak. In this study, we carried out a sampling in most of the cave halls and galleries. Sequence analysis and isolation methods detected that the most abundant genera of bacteria were Ralstonia and Pseudomonas. We suggest that, as a result of years of benzalkonium chloride treatments, the indigenous microbial community has been replaced by microbial populations selected by biocide application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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