Quantification of wood decay effects by HPLC analysis
V Singh, M Tarin, G D Shelver, A A W Baecker
The present work quantified the effects of the white rot basidiomycetes Coriolus versicolor and Phanaerochaete chrysosporium, and also those of the brown rot fungi Coniophora puteana and Lentinus lepideus, on Pinus patula and Eucalyptus grandis. Wood colonisation was quantified by Kjeldahl nitrogen determinations converted to biomass assays, and degradation was quantified by weight losses produced in the wood. Degraded wood samples were then analysed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of hydrolysates and their sugar contents were determined to establish whether the glucose of cellulose and xylose of hemicellulose had been utilised by the respective fungi. The extent and nature of sugar utilisation by each fungus in wood was then compared with the biomass and degradation data. Statistical analyses of these comparisons correlated the extents of colonisation, degradation, and the patterns of wood sugars predominantly utilised by each fungus. It was verified that the extent of wood conversion increased with biomass production. Importantly, the result of corresponding glucose and xylose analyses confirmed the brown rot physiological capacity a cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic, whereas that of the white rotters was primarily non-cellulolytic. In contrast, these analyses also showed that the white rotter Phanaerochaete chrysosporium demonstrated some cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic activity. The significance of these findings becomes apparent when colonised wood of apparent soundness is analysed as described here to determine whether or not decay was associated with such colonisation.