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Sterilization Method Effects on Germination of Wood Decay Fungus Spores Observed by the Contact Agar Method. Elmer L. Schmidt, Former research assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, 55108; D. W. French, professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, 55108. Phytopathology 69:688-689. Accepted for publication 15 November 1978. Copyright 1979 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-69-688.

Sterilization method significantly influenced spore germination of four wood decay fungi on spruce and aspen sapwood test blocks. Spore germination response to attempted sterilization methods was assessed on agar disks in diffusion contact with wetted wood samples. Of the five methods examined, brief immersion of blocks in vigorously boiling water most effectively minimized variation in germination percentages among replicates and allowed high germination levels for all wood/fungus combinations. Sensitivity of spore germination to even slight chemical modifications of wood, which may occur in attempted sterilization, must be considered in basidiospore testing programs for wood and forest products.