Effect of Preservative Treatment on Fungal Colonization of Teak, Redwood, and Western Red Cedar

IRG/WP 09-20404

Y Cabrera, C Freitag, J J Morrell

Fungal flora present in preservative treated samples or non-treated samples from sapwood and heartwood of teak, western red cedar, redwood, and southern yellow pine was assessed after 6 to 18 months of exposure near Hilo, Hawaii. The objectives were to compare fungal composition and diversity between treated and non-treated samples, and to examine the use of molecular techniques for assessing fungal community structure in a ground-proximity-test located in Hilo, Hawaii. Fungi were recovered in culture after 6, 12, or 18 months, yielding 178 unique DNA sequences that represented 85 taxa. Sequence data from the nuclear ribosomal internal transcriber spacer (ITS) region showed the taxa represented 56 ascomycetes, 17 basidiomycetes, 1 zygomycete and 10 unknowns. Basidiomycetes were mainly found in samples treated to the lowest biocide concentrations or non-treated samples, while there were no consistent isolation patterns with ascomycetes. Overall, treatment did not appear to affect community structure. Our results highlight (i) the need for caution in designating taxonomic units (species) based on culture or ITS BLAST matches, (ii) the utility of fungal culturing followed by molecular identification but the limitation of the sampling process, (iii) the remarkably high diversity of fungi colonizing wood in a ground proximity test under these tropical conditions.

Keywords: fungal flora, diversity, PCR, ITS-BLAST, community structure, colonization, teak, western red cedar, redwood. DCOI, DDAC, ACQ

Conference: 09-05-24/28 Beijing, China

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