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Quantitative Changes in Structural Components of Conifer Woods During Decay by White- and Brown-Rot Fungi. T. K. Kirk, Plant Pathologist, Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wisconsin 53705; T. L. Highley, Plant Pathologist, Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wisconsin 53705. Phytopathology 63:1338-1342. Accepted for publication 10 April 1973. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-63-1338.

Quantitative changes in lignin, glucan, mannan, and xylan during decay of five conifer woods by three white-rot and three brown-rot fungi were determined. (Glucan, mannan, and xylan provided estimates of cellulose and the hemicelluloses galactoglucomannan and arabino-4-O-methylglucuronoxylan, respectively.) All the white-rot fungi removed all the major wood components progressively during decay; the brown-rot fungi removed the polysaccharides but not lignin. The white- and brown-rot fungi removed the mannan, and usually xylan, faster than glucan, but the difference was not as pronounced for the white-rot as for the brown-rot organisms. The brown-rot fungi all had similar effects on the chemical composition of all the woods. In the white-rot type of decay there was variation in the effects on the chemical composition; this appeared to depend more on the wood being decayed than the fungus involved.

Additional keywords: Polyporus versicolor, Ganoderma applanatum, Peniophora G, Poria monticola, Lenzites trabea, Lentinus lepideus.