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Article online: 2018-11-16

Fungal stains on paper: is what you see what you get?

S. O. Sequeira1,2,, H. Paiva de Carvalho3 , N. Mesquita3 , A. Portugal3 , M. F. Macedo1,2 

1 Departamento de Conservação e Restauro, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

2 VICARTE, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

3 Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal



Mitigation of fungal biodeterioration on paper documents and artworks represents a challenge to conservators worldwide. Numerous lists of fungal species have been identified from paper collections, but are those species responsible for the respective biodeterioration phenomena or just environmental contaminants? The present work was aimed at obtaining an association between specific fungal stains and causative fungal species. 23 stains from three paper documents were sampled. Fungal structures observed in situ with optical and scanning electron microscopy were compared with the identification of isolates by molecular biology tools. Correlation between the observed fungal structures and the identified fungal isolates was achieved, varying from 13% to 64% of the samples within the three studied documents. Grey/black and dark brown stains were associated with Chaetomium globosum, C. murorum, Penicillium chrysogenum, P. commune, Myxotrichum deflexum and Stachybotrys chartarum. Eurotium rubrum was isolated from a foxing stain and Penicillium citrinum was identified on light orange stains.


Fungal stains
Paper conservation
Identification of fungi







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Conservar Património:
Sequeira, S. O.; Carvalho, H. P.; Mesquita, N.; Portugal, A.; Macedo, M. F., 'Fungal stains on paper: is what you see what you get?', Conservar Património (volume no prelo),

Sequeira, S. O., Carvalho, H. P., Mesquita, N., Portugal, A., & Macedo, M. F. (volume no prelo). Fungal stains on paper: is what you see what you get?. Conservar Património. DOI:10.14568/cp2018007.

Sequeira, S. O., H. Paiva de Carvalho, N. Mesquita, A. Portugal, and M. F. Macedo. volume no prelo. "Fungal stains on paper: is what you see what you get?." Conservar Património. doi:10.14568/cp2018007.

SEQUEIRA, S. O. [et al.] – Fungal stains on paper: is what you see what you get?. Conservar Património. volume no prelo.

SEQUEIRA, S. O. et al. Fungal stains on paper: is what you see what you get?. Conservar Património, Lisboa, volume no prelo. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: .


Received: 2018-3-7
Revised: 2018-9-21
Accepted: 2018-10-12
Online: 2018-11-16


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