Formation of soft rot cavities in relation to concentric layers in wood fibre walls
T Nilsson, G F Daniel
A large number of timber species attacked by soft rot have been examined using light microscopy. The S2 layers in a large number of the timbers exhibited special structural features in the form of thin concentric layers. Several observations indicate that these layers may be characterised as "weak" zones by being more easily degradable than the surrounding wall layers. The chemical structure of the concentric layers is not known although some suggestions regarding their composition are given. It was observed that soft rot cavities regularly formed in the thin concentric layers. A hypothesis is put forward suggesting that T-branching occurs as a response to a chemical stimulus, possibly by sugars released by penetrating hyphae when they transverse the thin concentric layers.