Oxalic acid production of fifteen brown-rot fungi in copper citrate- treated southern yellow pine
F Green III, C A Clausen
Non-arsenical copper-based wood preservatives have grown in number since the 1980's as a response to environmental concerns posed by arsenicals. Interest in copper tolerant decay fungi has increased accordingly. Oxalic acid (OA) production by brown-rot fungi has been proposed as one mechanism of copper tolerance. Fifteen brown-rot fungi representing the genera Postia, Wolfiporia, Serpula, Gloeophyllum, Laetiporus, Coniophora, Antrodia, and Tyromyces were evaluated for OA production bi- weekly in southern yellow pine (SYP) blocks treated with 1.2% AI copper citrate (CC). Ten fungi were designated copper tolerant and produced 2 to 17 times more OA in the CC-treated blocks than in untreated SYP after 2 weeks. Weight losses ranged from 20 to 55% in CC-treated SYP after 10 wks. Five fungi were copper-sensitive, producing low levels of OA and low weight losses on CC-treated blocks. In this study, early induction of OA appears to closely correlate with copper tolerance. We conclude that brown-rot fungi able to exceed and maintain an OA concentration of >400 mM in this study effectively decayed SYP treated with copper citrate.