Effect of asphyxiation on wood decay fungi treated
with argon and nitrogen gas
C Tavzes, F Pohleven, M Janisek, R J Koestler
The effects of low-oxygen conditions, achieved with either argon or nitrogen gas, on the viability of wood decay fungi Coniophora puteana, Antrodia vaillantii and Trametes versicolor, cultivated on PDA medium and infected wood samples, were examined. The fungal cultures were exposed to low oxygen concentration (below 10 ppm) for one to five weeks in hermetically sealed vessels. Anoxic treatment did not affect T. versicolor cultures in the time span of the experiment. Therefore treatment of only C. puteana and A. vaillantii mycelial cultures was extended to 10 and 16 weeks. After treatment, respiration and regeneration of mycelium were tested by measurements of CO2 production and resumed growth of hyphae onto fresh PDA growth medium. The effect of anoxic conditions on the mycelia of treated fungal species was expressed as an increased time needed for regeneration or as a complete absence of growth of inocula taken from the exposed cultures or wooden blocks reintroduced on new nutrient medium. The cultures that were retarded by the low oxygen concentration consequently produced less CO2. For C. puteana cultures, the effects of anoxic treatment became evident in the second week of the treatment. The number of affected cultures rose steadily with the prolongation of anoxic treatment. By the sixteenth week of the anoxic treatment, 80% of the inocula of C. puteana did not regenerate. A. vaillantii inocula regeneration was not affected until after the fourth week of treatment, and similarly for infected wood samples, after five weeks. The influence of anoxic treatment on the cultures of this species was more pronounced on the tenth and especially after the sixteenth week, when
67% of inocula did not regenerate. In general fungal species were differently sensitive to asphyxiation. T. versicolor cultures were not affected by anoxic conditions, caused by either argon or nitrogen gas, and A. vaillantii mycelial cultures proved to be less sensitive than those of
C. puteana. In the test with infested wood blocks argon proved to be more effective, compared to nitrogen gas.