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Ingestion of wood-degrading micro-organisms
1991 - IRG/WP 4169
An ultrastructural study was carried out on the digestive tract contents of Limnoria lignorum, frass, gallery walls and surface structures of the animals. The purpose of the study was to determine whether wood-degrading bacteria, fungi and other microbes and/or wood degraded by these microbes were present in gut regions and therefore could provide indirectly a nutritional source for Limnoria. Both bacterial (tunnelling) and fungal (soft rot) degraded wood fragments as well as lysed microbes, extracellular slime and various other microbes (actinomycetes, diatoms) were found in fore, mid and hind gut regions. The range of microbes associated with wood fragments from gut regions were similar to those recognized either colonizing or degrading surrounding gallery walls or present on the external surfaces of the organism itself. Wood materials in the gut were highly fragmented and showed evidence for either extensive bacterial or soft rot attack, or surface and sub-surface evidence for carbohydrate removal. The major wood degrading bacteria attack noted was tunnelling bacteria as well as a form capable of cell wall dissolution of pine wood. Both bacterial types carried out extensive attack of pine wood fragments present in Limnoria tunnels. Lysed fungal hyphae, and soft rot hyphae associated with residual soft rotted wood fragments were also prominent. Gut regions of Limnoria lignorum lacked a natural resident bacteria flora, although numbers of characteristic Gram-negative active vesicle producing bacteria were represented in all gut regions associated with wood fragments. In hind gut regions a prominence of wood middle lamella regions was noted suggesting that these cell wall regions were more resistant to attack. Results indicate ingestion of bacterial and fungal degraded wood and its associated microflora. It is suggested that ingestion of microbial degraded wood could provide Limnoria with increased substrate assessibility and a greater surface area over which their enzymes could act. Associated bacterial and fungal breakdown products could also provide an important supplimentary source of nitrogen.
G F Daniel, S M Cragg, T Nilsson

Changes in bacterial gut community of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis banks after feeding on termiticidal bait material
2014 - IRG/WP 14-10819
In this study, 454-pyrosequencing was used to evaluate the effect of two termiticidal baits, hexaflumuron and diflubenzuron, on the bacterial gut community in two Reticulitermes flavipes colonies and one Reticulitermes tibialis colony. Results showed two bacterial groups to be most abundant in the gut, the Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes, both of which do not appear to be adversely affected by bait treatment according to analysis conducted to date. Other major bacterial lineages present included Actinobacteria, Fibrobacteres, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Proteobacteria, Tenericutes, TM7, Verrucomicrobia and unclassified species, which matches closely with other studies examining termite gut bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis examining similarity among treated groups versus controls showed a treatment effect in both R. flavipes colonies, but no effect on R. tibialis samples. Overall community analysis also showed treatment groups were separated by their collection location indicating a distinct bacterial community within a colony. Future analysis will focus on the types of bacteria affected by bait treatment and the role of these changes in overall termite fitness.
R A Arango, F Green III, K F Raffa

Effect of Rifampin on gut symbiotic bacteria isolated from Anacanthotermes vagans Hagen (Isoptera: Hodotermitidae)
2014 - IRG 14-10835
Termites thrive in terrestrial ecosystems and play an important role in bio-recycling of the lignocellulosic biomass, that is a mixture of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. However, these insects become pests when they interfere with human interests related to wood/cellulose products, attacking structural timber, furniture and paper products. Sustainable management of subterranean termites using biorational pesticides such as antibiotics could represent a promising alternative to chemical control. We assessed the efficacy of the antibiotic Rifampin against the symbiotic bacteria isolated from the termite Anacanthotermes vagans using qualitative methods. Rifampin was dissolved in Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). We used a broth-dilution technique for determining Rifampin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) on isolated bacteria from gut of A.vagans maintained at 37ᵒC for 24h in an incubator. Summarizing the results, among the isolated species, Enterobacter cloacae, Rhodococcus sp. and Bacillus subtilis were sensitive to the action of this antibiotic, whereas Klebsiella pneumonia, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter sp., Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella sp., Corynebacterium sp., and Staphylococcus lentus were less affected by this antibiotic.
B Habibpour, M Jalali, D Gharibi

Evaluating the role of Actinobacteria in the gut of wood-feeding termites (Reticulitermes spp.)
2017 - IRG/WP 17-10880
Nitrogen has been shown to be a limiting nutrient across a range of xylophagous insects. These insects often rely on symbiotic microorganisms in the gut for nitrogen acquisition, via fixation of atmospheric nitrogen or break down of other available nitrogenous substances. In phylogenetically lower, wood-feeding termites, the role of nitrogen fixing bacteria has been well studied. However, there is also evidence that uric acid can be metabolized into ammonia and serve as an additional nitrogen source. In this study, 36 Actinobacterial isolates (Streptomyces spp.) from the guts of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, were screened for uric acid breakdown using culture-based methods. Results showed 92% of isolates are capable of degrading uric acid, with 35% classified as having “very strong” uricase activity in vitro. Enzyme assays of four representative Actinobacterial isolates confirmed that uric acid was broken down and ammonia was produced. Soil materials manipulated by termites also showed increased uricase activity compared to soil alone. However, this increase was not accompanied by an increase in overall abundance of Actinobacteria. It is still possible, however, that only those Actinobacteria with uricase activity increase while others remain the same or decrease, which would not change overall abundance values. Results from this study support the hypothesis that Actinobacteria associated with the gut of wood-feeding termites have the potential to contribute to nitrogen acquisition via uricolysis. Future work will be aimed at better understanding this complex relationship between wood-feeding subterranean termites and gut-associated Actinobacteria.
Evaluating the role of Actinobacteria in the gut of wood-feeding termites (Reticulitermes spp.)

The effect of certain wood extractives on the growth of marine micro-organisms
1977 - IRG/WP 438
S E J Furtado, E B G Jones, J D Bultman

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

Resistance of Alstonia scholaris vestures to degradation by tunnelling bacteria
1992 - IRG/WP 92-1547
Electron microscopic examination of vessels and fibre-tracheids in the wood of Alstonia scholaris exposed to tunnelling bacteria (TB) in a liquid culture showed degradation of all areas of the secondary wall. The highly lignified middle lamella was also degraded in advanced stages of TB attack. However, vestured pit membranes and vestures appeared to be resistant to degradation by TB even when other wall areas in Alstonia scholaris wood cells were severely degraded. The size comparison indicated vestures to be considerably smaller than TB, and we suspect that this may primarily be the reason why vestures in Alstonia scholaris wood were found to be resistant to degradation by TB.
A P Singh, T Nilsson, G F Daniel

Types of decay observed in CCA-treated pine posts in horticultural situations in New Zealand
1984 - IRG/WP 1226
The few reported failures of 11-12-year-old horticultural posts in New Zealand in 1982 were caused by brown-rot. A subsequent survey of CCA-treated posts in all the major horticultural areas has revealed decay of many posts. A microscopic examination of these posts has shown decay by brown-rot, white-rot, soft-rot and bacteria. Several types of bacterial decay have been observed.
J A Drysdale, M E Hedley

Contribution to study of the degradation caused in Pinus spp. poles used in field test
1989 - IRG/WP 1417
The study of the degradation produced by soil natural microflora on wood in contact with it in the field, has been going on for several years now. Our contribution to this aim in the present work has dealt with the possible relationship of the microorganisms in the soil. The microscopic visualization of wood colonization by the microorganisms, and the chemical analysis of the degraded wood compared with the undergraded.
M T De Troya, A Garcia, M J Pozuelo, A M Navarrete, A Cabanas

Observations on the failure of anti-sapstain treated timber under non-drying conditions
1990 - IRG/WP 1437
A range of bacteria and yeasts were isolated from antisapstain treated timber and fresh sawdust. Solution samples containing 100 ppm of TCMTB in a nutrient medium were inoculated with these organisms and incubated at 25°C for 5 days. The levels of TCMTB remaining in solution were determined by HPLC analysis after this time. Results indicated high losses of active ingredient for a range of organisms. These results suggest that active biodetoxification of organic biocides could occur in a short period of time during storage of antisapstain treated timber under favourable conditions. The implications of these results are discussed.
G R Williams

Test procedure to determine the effect of timber substrate on the effectiveness of different preservatives in sea-wate
1975 - IRG/WP 414
R A Eaton

Soft rot and bacterial decay in preservative treated eucalypt power transmission poles
1982 - IRG/WP 1155
Bacterial type decay was observed in CCA and PCP treated eucalypt power transmission poles. Detailed observations made with the SEM revealed bacterial colonisation and decay, especially in fibres. Plug samples taken from poles throughout Queensland were examined for preservative retention and presence of soft-rot decay. The severity of decay was different according to location, retention and species.
L E Leightley

Microbial biofouling of 10-40% naphthalene in creosote treated and untreated wooden pilings in the marine environment
1978 - IRG/WP 442
R R Colwell, P L Fish, D A Webb, A J Emery

Proposed test procedure to determine the effect of timber substrate on the effectiveness of a copper/chrome/arsenic preservative in seawater
1975 - IRG/WP 411
R A Eaton

Bacteria and wood. A review of the literature relating to the presence, action and interaction of bacteria in wood
1971 - IRG/WP 101
S E Rossell, E G M Abbot, J F Levy

Ultrastructural and TEM-EDAX studies on the degradation of CCA treated radiata pine by tunnelling bacteria
1985 - IRG/WP 1260
An ultrastructural study was carried out on bacterial attacked Pinus radiata stakes treated with a high level (24.7 kg/m³) of Tanalith NCA preservative. The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether the organism possessed intracellular and/or extracellular detoxification mechanisms in order to overcome the high levels of copper, chrome and arsenic present within the wood fibre walls. Correlated T.E.M. and T.E.M.-EDAX studies showed most of the preservative elements to remain outside the bacteria associated with bacterial tunnel wall and cross-wall extracellular secretions. T.E.M.-EDAX showed the levels of preservative elements present in the tunnel walls and cross walls to often greatly exceel that recorded in neighbouring S2 cell wall regions, while studies on the bacteria showed that only copper and very low levels of chromium and arsenic had entered the cells. Observations suggested that the metals found within the cells were associated with electron-dense deposits or inclusions within the nuclear region or cell cytoplasm, the deposits often containing high levels of phosphorus and calcium together with lesser levels of other cations. The study also provided evidence for the direct visualisation of CCA preservative elements within fibre walls using T.E.M. without any form of secondary chemical enhancing, and in addition, considerable new information on the nature and structure of the single celled, Gram-negative, motile bacteria involved in the decay.
G F Daniel, T Nilsson

Short term preconditioning of preservative-treated wood in soil contact in relation to performance in field trials
2000 - IRG/WP 00-20185
The effect of pre-exposure to primary colonising micro-organisms on preservative-treated wood, prior to a basidiomycete decay test, was determined by preconditioning in two soil types. Scots pine EN 113 blocks treated with 3 model systems (a triazole, a copper quaternary compound and a copper boron triazole) were leached according to EN 84 and subjected to 6 weeks and 8 weeks burial in either John Innes no. 2 (a loam-based horticultural compost) or soil from the Simlångsdalen field site in Sweden. The samples were then tested according to the method described in EN 113. Selective isolations were also performed after soil exposure and compared with those from a longer term field trial. Preconditioning lowered the effectiveness of the 2 copper containing preservatives. Some effect of soil pre-exposure could be noted with the triazole but this was limited. The fungal isolations from preconditioned EN 113 blocks and field exposed stakes were a similar mixture of soft rot and mould fungi. Bacteria were commonly isolated from the preconditioned wood. The role of these micro-organisms in the modification of the preservatives is currently being investigated.
S Molnar, D J Dickinson

Ultrastructure of the attack of a naturally durable timber by tunnelling bacteria
1990 - IRG/WP 1462
The attack of the wood of Eusideroxylon zwageri, a naturally durable species, by tunnelling bacteria (TB) was examined by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Observations were made primarily on fibres. Parenchyma were included in some cases. Both fibres and parenchyma are rich in extractives. In fibres, extractives are primarily present in the lumen. The amber colouration of fibre walls under the light microscope suggests that extractives may also permeate fibre walls. In parenchyma, extractives are present in large amounts in the lumen. Inner areas of parenchyma walls are also heavily permeated. The degradation of Eusideroxylon zwageri wood is markedly slower than any wood species we have examined before. However, in advanced stages of TB attack all areas of the fibre, except corner middle lamellae and extractive filled lumen, are heavily degraded. The degradation of Eusideroxylon zwageri wood involves other differences. The TB attack of the fibre wall starts from the S1 layer moving inwards and the tunnels formed vary greatly in their form, ranging from long and relatively straight to "S","V", hook, folded and convoluted forms. These variations from previously observed appearances most likely reflect differences in the thickness and chemical composition of the fibre wall of Eusideroxylon zwageri wood from the woods examined previously.
A P Singh, T Nilsson, G F Daniel

Ultrastructural observations on wood-degrading erosion bacteria
1986 - IRG/WP 1283
G F Daniel, T Nilsson

Biological control of blue stain on wood with Pseudomonas cepacia 6253. Laboratory and field test
1989 - IRG/WP 1380
Pseudomonas cepacia strain 6253 was tested as a biological control agent on wood samples under laboratory conditions, as well as in the field. In the laboratory this bacterium controlled blue stain on Pinus radiata, but field test were not totally satisfactory. However, after 2 months of field test, the test samples were 1/3 to 1/2 less stained then the control samples.
R Benko

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

Copper based water-borne preservatives: The use of a thin section technique to compare the protection of wood by copper based preservatives against soft-rot and bacterial decay
1987 - IRG/WP 2286
This paper describes the techniques developed and gives examples of results obtained for the performance of copper based wood preservatives against both the bacterial and fungal hazards.
A M Wyles, D J Dickinson

Bacteria as possible organisms for biological control of blue stain
1988 - IRG/WP 1339
The article discusses the possibilities of biological control of blue stain. Besides using some antagonistic fungi, the possibility of using antagonistic bacteria, which offer still greater possibilities, should not be overlooked. Tests performed have shown that some bacteria from the genera Streptomyces and Pseudomonas have a strong antagonistic effect of blue stain.
R Benko

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

Studies on the biological improvement of permeability in New Zealand grown Douglas fir
1983 - IRG/WP 3231
This report outlines progress towards optimizing conditions for water storage of New Zealand grown Douglas fir with the aim of improving permeability to water-borne preservatives, in particular CCA. Small scale laboratory tests are in progress but the need to scale up to potential commercial applications is being considered. Mixed populations of bacteria isolated from 10 week water sprinkled Douglas fir are being used to inoculate green, sterile timber. Environmental parameters such as pH, temperature and nutrient status are controlled to evaluate optimum conditions of growth, enzyme production and pitmembrane degradation leading to permeability improvement.
K J Archer

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