Microbial Community Analysis of Fresh and Old Microbial Biofilms on Bayon Temple Sandstone of Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Microb Ecol. 2010 Jul;60(1):105-15. doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9707-5. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


The temples of Angkor monuments including Angkor Thom and Bayon in Cambodia and surrounding countries were exclusively constructed using sandstone. They are severely threatened by biodeterioration caused by active growth of different microorganisms on the sandstone surfaces, but knowledge on the microbial community and composition of the biofilms on the sandstone is not available from this region. This study investigated the microbial community diversity by examining the fresh and old biofilms of the biodeteriorated bas-relief wall surfaces of the Bayon Temple by analysis of 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequences. The results showed that the retrieved sequences were clustered in 11 bacterial, 11 eukaryotic and two archaeal divisions with disparate communities (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria; Alveolata, Fungi, Metazoa, Viridiplantae; Crenarchaeote, and Euyarchaeota). A comparison of the microbial communities between the fresh and old biofilms revealed that the bacterial community of old biofilm was very similar to the newly formed fresh biofilm in terms of bacterial composition, but the eukaryotic communities were distinctly different between these two. This information has important implications for understanding the formation process and development of the microbial diversity on the sandstone surfaces, and furthermore to the relationship between the extent of biodeterioration and succession of microbial communities on sandstone in tropic region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Cambodia
  • Construction Materials / microbiology*
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S