General information on wood destroying basidiomycetes
Wood Decay Fungi Biology
Section of a gill showing basidia and basidiospores on gill surfaces
A higher magnification of the basidiospores produced on basidia.
Digram of the basdia and basidiospores on a gill.
A section of a fruiting body with pores. The basidia (green) and basidiospores line the pore surfaces (red).
Diagram of basidia and basidiospores in pore.
A section of a fruiting body with teeth-like projections. The basidia and basidiospores line the surfaces of the "teeth".
Basidia and basidospores produced on the surfaces of the teeth-like structures.
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.
Higher magnification showing the clamp connections on hypha. The fungal hypha has been stained to see the clamp connections better.
Brown Rot in aspen
Brown-rotted wood has little to no strength and breaks into fragments with slight pressure.
In the early stages of white rot, before substantial strength properties are lost, the wood becomes lighter in color.
White Rot in an aspen.
A birch tree with decay fungi fruiting and advanced stage of white 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.
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.
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.
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.