Ability of heartwood extractives to inhibit the growth of a bacterial symbiont of Teredo navalis

IRG/WP 00-10369

C S Love, A R Sipe, S C Cary, J J Morrell

Shipworms are important destroyers of wood in the marine environment, and wood users have long sought methods for preventing or limiting their attack. While heavy -duty wood preservatives are highly effective against these organisms, there is increasing concern about risks to non-target organisms. This has resulted in a gradual shift away from broadly toxic materials to either alternative materials or to woods with naturally durable heartwood. Naturally durable woods contain an array of chemicals that have the potential to target specific marine borer life stages. One possible target for control is to inhibit the growth of a shipworm symbiont required for wood degradation. This symbiont, a cellulolytic nitrogen-fixing bacterium, might be sensitive to specific compounds present in naturally durable woods. In this study, the potential inhibition of the symbiont by extracts from the heartwood of various wood species was compared with that of Aspergillus niger. Only a few of the materials inhibited the symbiont, suggesting that some of the woods resist attack through more direct action against the marine borer.


Conference: 00-05-14/19 Kona, Hawaii, USA

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