Chemistry and microscopy of wood decay by some higher ascomycetes

  • Nilsson T
  • Daniel G
  • Kirk T
 et al. 
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Chemical and microscopic features of wood decay by several ascomycetes in axenic culture are described. The tested ascomycetes caused significant weight losses in birch wood. Daldinia concentrica was espe- cially active, causing a weight loss of 62.9% after 2 months. While lignin and carbohydrates were both degraded, carbohydrates were preferentially attacked. As measured by alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation, syringylpropane units of the lignin were removed selectively. All of the tested ascomycetes eroded fiber cells walls beginning from the lumen. Some also caused cavities in the secondary walls, typical of soft-rot decay. Pine wood was generally resistant to decay; some of those species which were capable of forming soft-rot cavities in birch caused significant weight loss in pine. Alstonia scholaris, a tropical hardwood with a guaiacyl-rich lignin, was resistant to degradation. 11

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alstonia scholaris
  • Betula verrucosa
  • Daldinia
  • Hypoxylon
  • Libertella
  • Lignin biodegradation
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Populus tremula
  • Soft-rot
  • Syringyl:guaiacyl ratio
  • White-rot
  • Xylaria

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  • Thomas Nilsson

  • Geoffrey Daniel

  • T. Kent Kirk

  • John R. Obst

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