General information on wood destroying basidiomycetes

Wood Decay Fungi Biology

Basidia and basidiospores

Section of a gill showing basidia and basidiospores on gill surfaces

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A higher magnification of the basidiospores produced on basidia.

diagram of basidia on gills

Digram of the basdia and basidiospores on a gill.

basidia in pores

A section of a fruiting body with pores. The basidia (green) and basidiospores line the pore surfaces (red).

basidia in pores

Diagram of basidia and basidiospores in pore.

basidia on teeth like structures

A section of a fruiting body with teeth-like projections. The basidia and basidiospores line the surfaces of the "teeth".

basidia on teeth like projections

Basidia and basidospores produced on the surfaces of the teeth-like structures.

clamp connections

Mycelium of a wood decay fungus, Pleurotus, isolated in the first lab for the class. Hyphae can be seen with clamp connections which look like small bumps on the hyphae.

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Higher magnification showing the clamp connections on hypha. The fungal hypha has been stained to see the clamp connections better.

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Brown Rot in aspen

brown rot in lab

Brown-rotted wood has little to no strength and breaks into fragments with slight pressure.

early white rot in hardwood

In the early stages of white rot, before substantial strength properties are lost, the wood becomes lighter in color.

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White Rot in an aspen.

white rot in birch

A birch tree with decay fungi fruiting and advanced stage of white rot.

white pocket rot

Some white rot fungi are more selective at degrading lignin than others and cause a white pocket rot. The white "pockets" are pure cellulose and lignin has been completely removed.

zone lines in wood

Zones lines are produced when incompatable white rot fungi meet. The pseudosclerotial plate is a three dimentional barrier that keeps other fungi from invading their territory. These barriers can also form near wood surfaces to keep out fungi and protect against moisture loss.

zone lines in maple

The zone lines produced interesting patterns in wood. In early stages of white rot, this wood can be used for wood working since not much wood strentgh loss or biomass lost has taken place.

zone line wood art

Some extraordinary art can be made from wood with zone lines. Here is a piece with many different populations of decay fungi producing many different zone lines as each tries to maintain their niche. Note also the different stages of white rot and wood coloration from brownish (or normal wood color), to very white.