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Susceptibility of angiosperm sapwood to white-rot fungal colonization and subsequent degradation: a hypothesis
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10211
It has long been recognized that angiosperm sapwood in nature is relatively easily and preferentially degraded by white-rot fungi. This susceptibility to white-rot fungi is generally believed to be mainly caused by the structure and concentration of angiosperm lignin. However, an explicit explanation as to why lignin structure makes a particular wood vulnerable to white-rot colonisation and subsequent degradation has apparently never been given. We propose that free phenolic groups in wood, such as those present in the lignin or heartwood extractives, can act as free radical scavengers (antioxidants) which disrupt the various white-rot free radical degradative mechanisms. Consequently the presence of a relatively high free phenolic "density", such as that present in gymnosperm sapwood or angiosperm heartwood, may inhibit white-rot degradation. Conversely, white-rot fungi may find wood with a relatively low free phenolic content, such as angiosperm sapwood, easy to colonize. The complex structure of angiosperm wood, in which different cell types have different amounts and types of lignin -- and consequently different levels of free phenolic "densities" -- influences the susceptibility of angiosperm wood to initial white-rot colonisation and, perhaps, also the subsequent decay rate. In addition to the free phenolic ``density" other factors, some as yet unknown, undoubtedly also affect the decay resistance of a particular wood.
T Schultz, D D Nicholas


Susceptibility of CCB treated wood to fungal colonization
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10492
CCB treated wood is generally resistant to all wood decay fungi. However, like CCA impregnated wood, susceptibility of CCB treated wood to copper tolerant fungi have been observed. The ability of various brown rot fungal hyphae to penetrate and overgrow the wood samples was investigated. Samples made of Norway spruce (Picea abies) were impregnated with 5 % CCB solution according to the EN 113 procedure. After conditioning, part of the samples was leached according to the EN 84 method. Small stick of unimpregnated wood (r = 1.5 mm, l = 25 mm) was inserted into a hole, bored in the center of the samples, and after that sealed with epoxy coating. Sterilized, leached and non-leached impregnated and unimpregnated specimens were exposed to two copper-tolerant (Antrodia vaillantii, Leucogyrophana pinastri) and two copper sensitive (Poria monticola, Gloeophyllum trabeum) brown rot fungi for one, two or four weeks. After exposure, the inserted wood pieces were removed from the specimens and put onto nutrient medium in petri dishes. Growth of the hyphae from those wood pieces was then visually determined. Rate of colonization by the fungi were determined by measurement of CO2 production. After that, mass losses of parallel specimens were also determined. The fastest colonization of the unimpregnated specimens was by G. trabeum (one week). On the other hand, no fungal growth could be detected on non-leached CCB impregnated specimens even after four weeks of exposure. However, significantly more intense colonization by the copper tolerant fungi were detected on the leached CCB treated samples.
F Pohleven, U Andoljsek, P Karabegovic, C Tavzes, S A Amartey, M Humar


Soluble nutrient content in wood and its susceptibility to fungal discoloration and decay in above ground and ground tests
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10336
The objective of this comprehensive study was to reveal the impact of soluble nutrients in wood on its susceptibility to fungal discoloration and decay in various tests, which is important for the test methodology and standardisation. Seven tests were carried out including pure culture above and ground contact tests, above ground field test and laboratory ground contact tests. The samples containing soluble sugars and nitrogen were more susceptible to mould discoloration than those poor in nutrients. A laboratory test with the fungus Penicillium brevicompactum predicted well the moulding tendency of the samples in the consequent field test. The samples rich in nutrients showed an average of 16% of mass loss whereas samples poorer in nutrients were significantly less affected (8-9%) after 120 days of exposure in a soil rich in soft rot fungi. A pure culture test with the soft rot fungus Phialophora mutabilis confirmed the above -mentioned observation. Garden compost, rich in both soft rot fungi and bacteria, caused severe mass loss (40-48%) of the samples after 120 days of exposure, but no difference in the mass losses between the samples rich and those poor in nutrients was measured. The content of nutrients was neither related to the mass loss of samples in a soil rich in brown rot fungi, nor in a pure culture test with the brown rot fungus Postia placenta. The nutrient status of samples as well as the choice of test soil can lead to completely different results and, consequently, conclusions. The results are in favour of taking samples with approximately equal content of soluble nutrients to decrease the variability of test results, e.g., mass losses.
O M Caballero, N Terziev


Assessing the nutrient value of bio-based materials in relation to early fungal growth
2017 - IRG/WP 17-20631
Bio-based materials are gaining importance in the building industry, as the focus on sustainability and life-cycle-assessment has increased dramatically over the last decade. Wood and wood-engineered products as well as insulation materials made from flax, hemp, etc. are hence increasingly used. These materials originate from renewable resources and are often biodegradable, which can cause problems when bio-based materials are exposed to moisture and temperature conditions that are favourable for fungi. Fungal damage is not only an aesthetical issue, but can also severely compromise the structural integrity of a building component. Several standards exists for assessing the inherent resistance of wood species and the efficacy of wood preservatives, and are generally regarded to be sufficient and adequate. However, the existing standards are typically inadequate for the correct qualification of new wood products, whose durability is not enhanced with biocides but by new technologies, such as chemically modified wood (acetylation, furfurylation, etc.), thermally treated wood and also engineered wood products, such as glue-laminated wood, wood-based panels and wood treated with water repellents. In order to know whether the existing standard tests can be applied for bio-based materials other than (impregnated) wood species, certain material characteristics and their influence on fungal resistance as well as the standards’ test methodologies will need to be well understood. Therefore, it is key to unravel the influence of different material characteristics, like the material’s chemical components, its spatial structure and its moisture dynamics, all contributing to the material’s durability or resistance. In this paper, an experimental method is described in which the structure of a material is eliminated, so the chemical component of the material’s resistance can be separated from the other material characteristics. In se, the nutrient value of a material is tested for decay fungi, without the material’s structure and moisture dynamics playing a role.
L De Ligne, J Van den Bulcke, J Baetens, B De Baets, J Van Acker


Questionnaire - Fungal decay types
1985 - IRG/WP 1265
T Nilsson


Improvements of monitoring the effects of soil organisms on wood in fungal cellar tests
1996 - IRG/WP 96-20093
Accelerated testing the durability of preservative treated timber in a so called "fungal cellar" or "soil-bed" to evaluate its performance in ground contact is widespread practice. In order to obtain a more accurate and reproducible estimate of preservative performance, several institutes, among them the BAM in Berlin, have routinely carried out static bending tests in addition to visual examination. These tests were usually performed with a defined maximum load or deflection path regardless of the remaining degree of elasticity of the test specimens. Recent studies at the BAM revealed that by modifying the method, i.e. by restricting the applied load to the non-destructive interval for each individual test specimen, the calculated modulus of elasticity (MOE) reflect the changing strength properties caused by biological deterioration and allow within a relatively short time valuable predictions on the service life of the treated timber in soil contact.
I Stephan, S Göller, D Rudolph


The restricted distribution of Serpula lacrymans in Australian buildings
1989 - IRG/WP 1382
Temperature data has been gathered over a number of years, not only for flooring regions of various buildings in Melbourne, but also within roof spaces and external to the buildings. Findings are discussed in relation to the distribution of Serpula lacrymans within Australia, its restriction to certain types of building construction and its restriction to flooring regions. The subfloor spaces of badly-ventilated, masonry buildings are highlighted as being better suited than are the subfloor spaces of, for example, Japanese buildings for the activity of this fungus. Hence Serpula lacrymans is very restricted in its distribution in Australia, yet where it is active it does grow rapidly and causes rapid flooring failures.
J D Thornton


Fungal and bacterial attack of CCA-treated Pinus radiata timbers from a water-cooling tower
1991 - IRG/WP 1488
Transmission electron microscopy of decaying CCA-treated Pinus radiata timbers from an industrial water cooling tower showed presence of a thick biofilm covering some areas of the wood. The biofilm contained various morphologically distinct forms of microorganisms embedded in a slime. The study provided evidence of the activity of soft rot fungi and tunnelling and erosion bacteria in wood cells. The extent of damage to wood cells due to microbial activity varied, combined fungal and bacterial attack having the most damaging impact.
A P Singh, M E Hedley, D R Page, C S Han, K Atisongkroh


The accelerated field simulator (= fungal cellar)
1982 - IRG/WP 2170
G C Johnson, J D Thornton, H Greaves


An attempt to evaluate wood resistance against fungal decay in non-sterile conditions by measuring the variation of resistance to bending test
1988 - IRG/WP 2308
The main object of this work was to determine the variation of strength on large test specimens of wood (800 x 45 x 45 mm³) when exposed to accelerated fungal attacks close to natural conditions, out of test vessels. The modulus of elasticity (MOE) and the modulus of rupture (MOR) have been assessed. Thereby, the natural resistance of the wood species to fungal decay, the efficiency of preservative as well as the treatment applied are discussed. The wood tested is a guianese secondary species (Couma guianensis). The fungi tested are two guianese strains of brown and white rot. The exposure time is 12 weeks. No mould contamination has been recorded by use of a selective fungicide. The results obtained show that it is possible to infest in nonsterile conditions large wood specimens. Furthermore, modulus of rupture appears to be the most reliable criterion. The investigation, that requires limited equipment and staff could be performed in any tropical research station as it has been done at CTFT, French Guiana center.
L N Trong


The susceptibility of 35 Amazon wood species to Cryptotermes brevis (Walker)
1982 - IRG/WP 1160
Laboratory tests were carried to evaluate the susceptibility of 35 Amazon hardwoods to Cryptotermes brevis (Walker). The results were analysed statistically and showed that five wood species were non resistant, nine were resistant and the other twenty-one in between those classes of resistance.
M D Canedo


Influence of storage on mould susceptibility of wood at relative humidity values lower than 100%
1989 - IRG/WP 1413
It is well known that wood material changes with time because of different environmental influences. The effects of such changes on the subsequent mould susceptibility are less known. In this paper we report on increased mould susceptibility of pine wood after storage. Mould growth was detected by indirect methods.
J Bjurman


Preventive action against fungal decay: A comparative experiment on the effects of natural and artificial infection of wood by Basidiomycetes
1981 - IRG/WP 2160
M Fougerousse


A short note on fungal decay in K33-treated poles
1982 - IRG/WP 1169
Soft rot cavities and erosion of the lumen have been found in K33-treated Pinus sylvestris poles from the years 1956-66 by microscopic studies. Poor treatment quality has been proved for some of these poles. The microscopy showed an unusual pattern of attack, and pre-treatment decay is suspected but not yet proved. Sounding the poles and using the Pilodyn indicated decay, but poking did not. Quantification of the attacks was possible only by microscopic studies.
H Friis-Hansen


Evaluation of new creosote formulations after extended exposures in fungal cellar tests and field plot tests
2000 - IRG/WP 00-30228
Although creosote, or coal tar creosote, has been the choice of preservative treatment for the railroad industry since the 1920s, exuding or "bleeding" on the surface of creosote-treated products has been one incentive for further enhancements in creosote production and utility (Crawford et al., 2000). To minimize this exuding problem, laboratories such as Koppers Industries Inc., USA, and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Division of Chemical and Wood Technology, Melbourne, Australia, have developed changes in processing of coal tar that produce distillates with fewer contaminants. This "clean distillate" is then used to formulate "clean creosote" as a preservative. These new, unique creosote formulations are being investigated as part of a program to enhance the use of regionally important wood species in the United States. Four retention levels of each of two new creosote formulations creosote, one pigment-emulsified creosote (PEC) and one creosote formulation that meets the AWPA Standard C2-95 for P1/P13 creosote (AWPA, 1995a), were applied to two softwood species and two hardwood species. Two laboratory procedures, the soil-block and fungal cellar tests (accelerated field simulator), were used to evaluate the four creosote formulations. These procedures characterized the effectiveness of the wood preservatives. The soil-block tests were used to determine the minimum threshold level of the preservative necessary to inhibit decay by pure cultures of decay fungi. In general, the soil block tests showed there was little difference in the ability of the four creosote formulations to prevent decay at the three highest retention levels as summarized in a previous report by Crawford and DeGroot (1996). The soil-block tests will not be discussed in this report. Fungal cellar tests expose treated wood to mixtures of soil-borne fungi that promote accelerated attack. Crawford and DeGroot (1996) discussed the evaluation of the creosote formulations after 17 months of exposure in the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), fungal cellar. At that point in time data from the fungal cellar tests showed that softwoods are protected better than hardwoods for all four formulations of creosote tested. This report will discuss exposure of the fungal cellar stakes upto 36 months. In addition, field stake tests are being used to verify service life of the new creosote formulations in vivo. Results from accelerated tests are indicative of field performance, but the correlation between laboratory and field results is still being investigated. Field stake tests are regarded as critical, long-term evaluations that provide results most directly related to the performance of treated products in service. In this study, we report on the performance of the creosote formulations after five years of exposure in field tests.
D M Crawford, P K Lebow, R C De Groot


A direct method for testing plywood and particle boards against fungal decay
1984 - IRG/WP 2214
A method directly inspired from the French standard testing method of the resistance of particle boards against fungal decay (AFNOR N° 51.295 May 1980) is described. But in that experimentation, the infestation is localized and realized in non sterile conditions. Small blocks of Fagus sylvatica (60 x 20 x 10 mm³) used as " inoculates " are infested with basidiomycetes, in Kolle flask for 4 to 6 weeks, then tightly pressed against the middle part of the test specimens (190 x 15 x 15 mm³). The lower part of the inoculates is plunged in vermiculite kept constantly humid by water containing a selective fungicide. After twelve weeks of exposure in non sterile conditions, in a green house with constant temperature around 20°C, the test specimens are then submitted to a static bending test until fracture. The comparison of the fracture-stress between control test specimens and the specimens exposed to wood rotting basidiomycetes permits to evaluate the resistance of the studied materials against fungal decay.
L N Trong


Are fungal cellar tests really necessary?
1989 - IRG/WP 2333
During the past decade the range of methodology used to evaluate wood preservative potential has significantly expanded. At the forefront of these new tools available to the scientist·is the fungal cellar. This technique, as currently applied, involves the exposure of treated and untreated samples to conditions of moisture and temperature which ensure optimum fungal attack. By comparison data with that obtained on similar preservative systems in conventional stake tests, acceleration factors for predicting performance have been developed. This discussion paper examines the philosophy influencing the development of fungal cellar testing, and provides an alternative viewpoint.
J N R Ruddick


Biological and chemical observation on the early fungal colonization of TBTO treated Swedish redwood stakes
1984 - IRG/WP 3311
Data on the early fungal colonization of Swedish redwood stakes, impregnated with 1% TBT0 / 0.5% dieldrin solution, both by double vacuum impregnation and immersion processes are presented. Results of chemical analyses of wood samples from the outer 1 mm of separate painted and unpainted stakes, exposed over the same twelve month period, are also discussed.
R Hill, A H Chapman, A Samuel, K Manners, G Morton


Isolation and identification of the fungal flora in treated wood
1976 - IRG/WP 144
J F Levy


Virulence tests with fungal strains used in EN 113 CEN ring test. Results with Coniophora puteana (Schum.ex Fr.) Karst
1986 - IRG/WP 2249
D Dirol


Preliminary note on the fungal problem of rubber wood
1983 - IRG/WP 3246
Susceptibility of rubber wood to fungal attack limits its wider utilisation. Fungal problems encountered in treating rubber wood with boron compounds by diffusion process have been discussed. Sodium pentachlorophenoxide and 2-thiocyanomethylthio benzothioazole (TCMTB) were investigated for possible control of fungal growth during diffusion storage and their performance has been reported.
R Gnanaharan


Targeting fungal proteinases to prevent sapstain on wood
1995 - IRG/WP 95-10097
Discoloration of wood, caused by a variety of sapstaining fungi, leads to periodic losses in the Canadian lumber export industry. Proteolytic enzymes are thought to be necessary for retrieval of nitrogen during fungal growth on wood. The major extracellular proteinase of Ophiostoma piceae, a representative sapstaining fungus, was purified to homogeneity and its inhibition pattern characterised. Classic serine proteinase inhibitors inhibited the activity of the purified proteinase in a dose-dependent manner. Several chelating agents, detergents, heavy metals and PQ-8, a currently used commercial antisapstain formulation, also caused a reduction in proteolytic activity in vitro. Selected inhibitory compounds were then tested for their effect on growth of Ophiostoma piceae in artificial media and on wood. Heavy metals and several chelators inhibited growth on media containing protein or inorganic nitrogen, suggesting that they were toxic to the fungus rather than specific to the proteinase. However, chymostatin and PQ-8 did appear to be specific proteinase inhibitors. These products caused a decrease in growth on a protein-supplemented medium which induces proteinase production, but had little effect on growth on medium containing inorganic nitrogen. Visual assessment of lodgepole pine sapwood samples inoculated with Ophiostoma piceae also identified PQ-8 as an effective inhibitor of fungal growth. Other pure chelators and serine proteinase inhibitors did not perform well on wood. While some compounds showed promise in these tests, definitive testing and commercial application are constrained by the current lack of stable, cheap, non-toxic, specific serine proteinase inhibitors.
L D Abraham, D E Bradshaw, A Byrne, P I Morris, C Breuil


Fungal defacement of water-stored softwoods
1993 - IRG/WP 93-10009
Sapstain, mould and basidiomycete defacement of untreated sawn boards of Scots and Corsican pine was recorded during a 14 week field trial. Boards were cut from freshly felled logs and from logs previously maintained under water sprinklers for 6 months and ca. 4 years. The incidence of sapstain defacement or the freshly felled wood was very servere aftcr 2 weeks and remained so throughout the board trial. Fungal defacement of wood previously stored under sprinklers for 6 months was progressive and was severe by 14 weeks. In contrast, the level of defacement of boards from long lerm water-stored logs remained very low after 14 weeks exposure. The marked differences in susceptibility to fungal infestation of boards from freshly felled and water-stored logs are discussed in terms of wood sugar levels and the bacterial populations present in the wood.
M A Powell, R A Eaton


Efficacy of some extractives from Pinus heartwood for protection of Pinus radiata sapwood against biodeterioration. Part 1: Fungal decay
1995 - IRG/WP 95-30072
Chemical compounds thought to contribute to the natural durability of heartwood of Pinus spp. were either chemically synthesised in the laboratory or extracted from the heartwood of Pinus elliottii or Pinus caribaea. These compounds included the stilbenes, pinosylvin and its mono- and di-methyl ethers, and the flavonoids, pinobanksin and pinocembrin. Small blocks of Pinus radiata sapwood were impregnated with methanolic solutions of pure compounds or heartwood extracts, to a range of retentions extending above and below the concentration of each compound known to occur in the heartwood of Pinus spp.. Fungicidal efficacy of these compounds has been evaluated by exposure of treated blocks to pure cultures of a white and a brown rot, in addition to an unsterile soil test.
M J Kennedy, J A Drysdale, J Brown


Changed susceptibility of the chemically and thermally degraded spruce wood to its attack by the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans
1999 - IRG/WP 99-10322
In buildings, some intentional or unintended situations can occur at which some wood products are exposed to aggressive chemicals and also to higher temperatures. Occasional activity of fungi on such pre-attacked wood products can be either higher or lower. This paper deals with changes in the susceptibility of spruce wood (Picea abies L. Karst.) to attack by the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans, in such situations, when the wood samples 8.5x8.5x120 mm3 (RxTxL) were first pre-treated with 1% water solutions of selected acids (H2SO4, CH3COOH), bases (NaOH, NH4OH) or oxidizing agent (H2O2), or they were also exposed to a higher temperature (190°C/3h). The activity of S. lacrymans was totally restricted only in one situation, if the wood was pre-treated with sulphuric acid and then exposed to 190°C. On the other hand, specimens pre-treated with ammonium hydroxide were more susceptible to bio-attack (in both situations: without or with high temperature pre-treatment effect) than sound ones.
L Reinprecht


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