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Biological Treatment to Improve Wood Product Quality and Durability - Fifteen Years of Effort and Experience at FPInnovations-Forintek Division
2009 - IRG/WP 09-40444
Wood plays an important role in the world economy. However, wood is subject to attack from wood-degrading fungi and insects and durability and quality of wood products are becoming increasing concerns for consumers. Development of effective and low environmental impact technologies to improve wood product quality and durability will be required to address these concerns. The application of a biological treatment to wood products is an example of one such technology. During the past fifteen years, a series of research projects were conducted at FPInnovations–Forintek Division to explore and develop various biological technologies and treatments to improve wood quality and durability against mold, stain and decay. These projects included 1) biological protection of logs and green lumber from mold, stain and decay; 2) biological pre-drying of wetwood lumber; 3) biological treatment to improve wood panel durability; 4) biological modification of wood to reduce resin use in panel manufacturing; and 5) biological incising to harden wood. This article summarizes the significant technical breakthroughs and findings made in these studies.
Dian-Qing Yang


Wood preservation in Kenya
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40191
Current research on wood preservation in Kenya is mainly on the development of biological control of wood-destroying termite species, using mycoinsecticides. The major research institutions include the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Moi University and the International Centre for Insect Physiology (ICIPE). Training institutions include Forestry Training College, Forest Products Training Institute and Moi University. A number of publications, mostly an biological control of termites, are available and they range from workshop and conference proceedings to theses and journal publications. Wood-destroying termite species include several genera in Macrotermitidae and one drywood termite genus. Wood preservation facilities are available in Kenya, mainly for assorted timber products, sleepers and utility poles. The major preservatives used are CCAs, PCP and Creosote oil. There are still no set standards, specifications and requirements for wood preservatives and little, if any information exists on the marketing aspects of wood preservatives. The yet to be established Industrial Chemicals Act and the recently introduced Environmental Management and Coordination Bill (1999) may be able to handle regulatory, environmental, health and safety aspects of wood preservation in Kenya.
G Ochiel


The yeast Pichia sp. As a short-term biological control agent to fungal spoilage of sawn softwood timber
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10362
Previous work has found isolates of the yeast Pichia to be a successful biological control agent toward moulding of fruits. An isolate was tested for the ability to protect sapwood of Pinus sylvestris timber against visual degrade by surface growth of moulds and staining fungi. Successful protection of autoclaved wood sprayed with a mixture of common wood moulding fungi was achieved when the yeast was applied at a rate of 6 x 10 8 cells/cm2. Yeast cells were sprayed onto the wood blocks at the same time as the fungi and blocks were incubated under conditions favourable to fungal development for 15 and 25 days before assessment using a visual scale. Limitation of the disfigurement of green wood required a similar cell application rate. Protection of blocks sprayed with Ophiostomatoid staining fungi following sterilisation required a lower concentration of yeast cells (2 x 10 6 cells/cm2). Survival and reproduction of Pichia cells on sterilised wood blocks was also determined across a range of relative humidity and temperature conditions previously found to support development of wood moulding and staining fungi. Following 16 weeks incubation at temperatures of 8-25°C at relative humidity 93-100%, between 46 and 473% of the number of colony forming units applied to the wood were recovered. Maximum increase in viable yeast cell count on wood blocks occurred at 100% relative humidity and 15°C.
C Payne, H J Staines, A Bruce


Monitoring the potential biological control agent Cartapip
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10365
Attempts to biocontrol woodstain caused by Ophiostoma species led to the development of an O. piliferum colorless mutant - Cartapip (AgraSoL). The mutant's ability to prevent sapstain of stored logs and lumber is tested in a variety of field trials in Germany, England, Canada and New Zealand. To carry out biocontrol field trials, users have to obtain a permit from a regulatory agency and have to develop specific detection tools for monitoring the growth and spatial distribution of the control agent in the field. In addition, information on the genetic relatedness of the biocontrol agent and the natural population has to be generated to facilitate the registration of the product. Using two different media and an incubation temperature optimal for Cartapip but slightly too high for sapstain fungi and molds, the presence of Cartapip could be monitored in a field trial. To examine the genetic relatedness of Cartapip and the wild type O. piliferum strains, the genetic variation of the ribosomal region and the b-tubulin gene was determined. Both the 18S and the 26S rDNA regions were quite conserved among the O. piliferum strains and Cartapip. Meanwhile, genetic variation was observed in the b-tubulin gene, which led to the design of a Cartapip-specific PCR-primer set. The usefulness of a specific enzyme-cutting site (SpeI) to monitor Cartapip was also tested. The specific primer and the restriction enzyme were able to differentiate Cartapip from the most O. piliferum strains tested. Finally the application of both monitoring strategies on wood was shown.
S Schröder, K Sterfinger, Seong Hwan Kim, C Breuil


Comparative response of Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus to borate soil treatments
1991 - IRG/WP 1486
Eastern (Reticulitermes flavipes [Kollarl]) and Formosan (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) subterranean termite workers (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) were exposed to borate-treated sand in an indirect exposure tunneling assay in the laboratory. In the ten day assay period, both termite species readily penetrated sand containing 5000, 10000, or 15000 ppm (wt. of compound / wt. of sand) disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (Tim-BorÒ) or zinc borate (Firebrake ZB-FineÒ). With Reticulitermes flavipes, significant mortality (85-93%) resulted from workers tunneling through sand treated with 5000 ppm disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (higher concentrations were also effective), or 15000 ppm zinc borate. Responses of Coptotermes formosanus workers were lesser and more variable, with only concentrations of 10000 and 15000 ppm zinc borate resulting in mortality 70-89%) significantly different from that in the control groups. These results suggest that differences between these two species in tunneling behavior may reduce exposure of Coptotermes formosanus to the borate-treated sand.
J K Grace


Problems caused by termites in buildings in the State of Sao Paulo
1976 - IRG/WP 150
Termites are the main insects attacking buildings in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil. Their attack occurs in wood and wooden materials as well as paper, textile, leather and so on.
M S Cavalcante


Physical properties of ß-1,4-Xylanase produced by Postia (=Poria) placenta: Implications for the control of brown rot
1987 - IRG/WP 1318
The degradation of hemicelluloses is an early event in wood decay by brown-rot fungi. An understanding of the physical properties of hemicellulases may suggest target mechanisms for the development of new control agents. Endo-b-1,4-xylanase was partially purified by column chromatography from wood decayed by Postia (= Poria) placenta. The enzyme was extremely resistant to denaturing conditions; no loss of activity was detected after 2 h in 9 M urea or 6 M guanidine-HCl. Boiling the enzyme for 5 min in 2.5% SDS + 0.5% b-mercaptoethanol reduced its activity by 65%, as measured by the production of reducing sugars. The activity of a-D-galactosidase, another enzyme detected in large quantities in the decayed wood, was reduced by 98% under these conditions. Optimum pH and temperature ranges were pH 2-6 and 50-60°C, respectively. The enzyme appears to be a glycoprotein containing 50-60% carbohydrate (w/w); the carbohydrate moiety may protect the enzyme from adverse environmental conditions. The control of brown rot by in situ inactivation of xylanase may not be feasible because of the enzyme's extreme stability.
J A Micales, F Green III, C A Clausen, T L Highley


Improved techniques designed for evaluation of fungicides in soil for control of dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans
1985 - IRG/WP 2238
Improved techniques provide a laboratory method for the evaluation of chemicals in soil for control of dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. Results with their application to three chemicals were reported. These techniques are useful to eliminate chemicals lacking the necessary toxicity and weatherbility for dry rot control when the chemicals have been applied to the soil.
M Takahashi, K Nishimoto


Physical barriers and bait toxicants: The Romeo and Juliet of future termite control
1991 - IRG/WP 1503
Soil chemical barriers are considered by some to be the most important technique for protecting buildings against subterranean termites in Australia (and elsewhere), providing a barrier against termite penetration. However, there is no such thing as a barrier that is 100 per cent +protective. And given the worldwide problems of using organochlorine termiticides, public awareness of chemical pollution and contamination to the environment, emphasis on physical barriers has been refocussed. In the event of such barriers being penetrated, the use of suitable bait systems and toxicants is considered a fruitful "back-up" strategy in future termite control measures. Such a system is environmentally friendly, has wide public acceptance, and readily marketable.
J R J French


Report and recommendations of the National Termite Workshop held in Melbourne on the 17 April 2002.
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10478
There are two parts to this Report. Part One summaries the outcomes of an industry workshop organised to better scope the subterranean termite problem, identify knowledge gaps including R&D gaps and identifying strategies including cost-effective co-ordination mechanisms for addressing the issue. Part Two is a brief review of the current state of knowledge on subterranean termites of economic importance to the wood products industry in Australia.
B M Ahmed, J R J French


A case study on quality control on telephone poles as a cost saving tool in Tanzania
1987 - IRG/WP 3418
A sample of 28 CCA treated Eucalyptus poles from a lot of 2,000 poles awaiting delivery to the field, was studied to reveal the quality of treatment. Results showed a product of very poor quality. Average figures for penetration and retention were 8.4 mm and 2.2 kg/m³; these results are 66% and 91% below the required standards, respectively. Consequences of such results are estimated to amount to losses of billion of shillings.
K K Murira


Termite standards questionnaire survey. Second Report
1989 - IRG/WP 1395
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the survey continue to be summarised. Again, highlighted in this second report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of the termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage


Biological control with Trichoderma harzianum in relation to the formation for spores the production of soluble metabolites
1994 - IRG/WP 94-10073
The amount of spores produced by three strains of Trichoderma harzianum on the aerial mycelium of agar cultures and in shake cultures, respectively, correlated with the inhibition zones exerted against Phanerochaete chrysosporium in an agar diffusion test. The amount of soluble antifungal metabolites as well as the protein content also correlated with the inhibition zones and the amount of spores produced. The antifungal metabolites were identified to be trichorzianines. They were the only compounds with antifungal activity. It is concluded that the trichorzianines are responsible for the biocontrol effect by soluble metabolites and that they are produced during conidiogenesis.
J Bürgel, E Horvath, J Haschka, K Messner


Trials on the field control of the Formosan subterranean termite with Amdro® bait
1982 - IRG/WP 1163
Amdro® - treated paper towels were introduced into two field colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite in Hawaii. At the concentration of 180 ppm, the toxicant bait was ineffective one month after the introduction. At higher concentrations (> 6,400 ppm), the baits were eaten initially; however, one week after introduction, termites avoided or covered the baits. The 15,000 ppm baits supressed the activity of one colony but did not affect the other.
N-Y Su, M Tamashiro, J R Yates III


Decay resistance of wood removed from poles treated with Trichoderma
1989 - IRG/WP 1386
Wood blocks removed from a distribution pole previously treated with a biological control product (Binab FYT pellets) were exposed in soil block tests to selected basidiomycetes. The blocks were removed from regions of poles where Trichoderma colonization had been confirmed by extensive sampling and computer mapping of microbial inhabitants. The results indicate that material from pole interiors colonized by Trichoderma is able to resist decay by Lentinus lepideus and Antrodia carbonica. Any decay prevention was lost however when the wood was steam sterilized prior to exposure to the basidiomycetes. The implications of the results for the use of biological control of internal decay in creosoted poles is briefly discussed.
A Bruce, B King, T L Highley


Controlling Coptotermes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) infestations in buildings with bait boxes
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10372
This paper describes the results of a commercial pest control operators use of the CSIRO bait box procedure in controlling infestations within buildings of subterranean termites ('termites') of the genus Coptotermes. Polystyrene bait boxes (480 x 330 x 210 mm3) were filled with alternate layers of corrugated cardboard and kiln-dried hardwood strips of Eucalyptus regnans F. Meull. (mountain ash). A viewing port at one end of each box allowed for the operator, or the clients, to check the presence of termites in the bait box. On discovering termite activity in the box, a dust toxicant (arsenic trioxide) was applied to the aggregated individuals, and the dusted termites returned to the box, thus spreading the toxin to other members of the nest colony, leading to it's collapse. On average, the time from installation to aggregating termites was about 4-6 weeks. Of the seventy-four boxes installed since 1994, sixty-six boxes were placed inside buildings, while eight boxes were positioned around buildings. Most were placed within buildings in the sub-floor areas, and alongside termite-infested skirting boards and architraves within slab-on-ground constructions. Other boxes were placed in cupboards, on top of termite-infested flooring, roof areas and on floors in garages. Eighty-five percent of the boxes lured termites, while 13% failed to lure any termites. Of those boxes with termites, there was a 82% success rate using arsenic trioxide as the dust toxicant. Eradication of termite colonies was recorded when no further termite activity was found after 6-12 months. These results are discussed in relation to present and future termite control.
J R J French, T Boschma


Biological control of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki
1971 - IRG/WP 100
M Tamashiro, J K Fujii, P Lai, T E Richardson


Supplement to Document No: IRG/WP/56. Health and safety aspects of the use of wood preservatives
1975 - IRG/WP 356
H Willeitner


Evaluation of the effectiveness of three microbiocides in the control of sapstains
1982 - IRG/WP 3212
Results of field test on the effectiveness of BUSAN 30, CAPTAN, FOLPET against mould and sapstain in Pinus elliottii are presented. The viability of use of FOLPET in Brazil as an alternative to sodium pentachlorophenate is also discussed.
S Milano, J A A Vianna Neto


Antagonistic effects of a range of fungi to Serpula lacrymans
1996 - IRG/WP 96-10156
Certain fungi have been demonstrated to exhibit antagonism towards Serpula lacrymans in culture. Species from the genera Trichoderma, Gliocladium, Penicillium and Hypomyces were among those exhibiting the strongest antagonism. Certain species showed antagonism in a range of media of varying nutritional status. The possible role of antagonistic fungi as biocontrol agents for Serpula lacrymans is discussed.
P Rattray, G McGill, D D Clarke


Studies on the infestation behaviour of the powder-post beetle Lyctus brunneus (Steph.) and its physical control in the wood yards of the Caspian forests of Iran
1985 - IRG/WP 1271
Lyctus brunneus (Steph.) is a pest which has not been previously thoroughly studied in Iran. It severely attacks Iranian hardwoods, especially those used in wooden houses and that have not been treated. Research work was necessary to determine the natural resistance of the most important timber species in Iran against this insect.
P Niloufari


Utility, deterioration and preservation of marine timbers in India
2005 - IRG/WP 05-40314
Timber is extensively used in India in the marine environment for various purposes due to its several advantages over modern materials. Infact, its use is increasing in recent years, finding wider and wider applications and this scenario is not going to change in the near future. Though, the bio-deterioration problem is found very severe in tropical waters, still indigenous methods are widely employed for the protection of fishing craft and the present level of chemical treatment is well below 5% of total timber used. This is due to socio economic problems of the potential timber user groups, unavailability of treatment plants in the coastal areas, lack of awareness in user groups, etc. In this paper, types of fishing craft used in the country, timber uses in the marine environment, bio-deterioration losses, research conducted on bio-deterioration aspects at various places and methods applied for the protection of wooden structures are presented.
B Tarakanadha, M V Rao, M Balaji, P K Aggarwal, K S Rao


Biological control of Serpula lacrymans using Trichoderma spp
1994 - IRG/WP 94-10069
The effectiveness, or otherwise, in killing Serpula lacrymans, of a range of Trichoderma spp. in a variety of media and using two different incubation systems has been tested. In agar based systems with normal nutrients or minimal nutrients with high or low nitrogen contents and high or low iron content Trichoderma harzianum 25 proved to be the most efficient and killing Serpula lacrymans. Other species, such as Trichoderma hamatum 150, were effective in some media but not in others. Initial observation on partially decayed small wood blocks suggested that actively growing Serpula lacrymans could not be killed by Trichoderma spp.. Experiments undertaken on a specially designed system, however, indicated that certain Trichoderma spp. can act as effective antagonists even in wood based systems.
A J Score, J W Palfreyman


Treatment of dried sawn spruce and redwood building timbers with water-borne preservatives under a scheme for the quality control of the preservation and preserved wood in the Netherlands
1978 - IRG/WP 3123
Treatment of dried sawn spruce and redwood Building Timbers with water-borne preservatives under a scheme for the quality control of the preservation and preserved wood in the Netherlands. The aim of this article is to give the reader a modest description of the evaluation of fundamental research in wood preservation into a practical application.
H F M Nijman, N Burgers


Sequential exposure of borate treated Douglas-fir to multiple Formosan subterranean termite colonies in a 40-week field test
1993 - IRG/WP 93-10006
Douglas-fir boards (ca. 74.5 g) pressure-treated with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) retentions of 0 (controls), 0.88, 1.23, 1.60, or 2.10% (weight/weight) DOT were sequentially exposed to four active field colonies of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in an above-ground field test. Samples were placed in contact with each colony for 10 weeks, with oven-dry weight losses determined between exposures, for a total termi exposure period of 40 weeks. Feeding activity differed among termite colonies, with the control wood samples having mean weight losses of 1.3-15.1% of their initial weight during each individual 10-week termite exposure. The two lower borate retentions (0.88 and 1.23% DOT) were virtually equal efficacy, with mean wood weight losses during each individual 10-week exposure ranging from 1.2-4.6%. Feeding was negligible at the two higher borate retentions, with mean wood weight losses from termite feeding during each 10-week period ranging from 0.7-1.3% with 1.60% DOT, and 0.3-0.9% with 2.10% DOT. Total cumulative wood weight losses over the 40 week exposure were: 10.2% (0.88% DOT), 8.7% (1.23% DOT), 3.6% (1.60% DOT), and 2.4% (2.10% DOT).
J K Grace, R T Yamamoto


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