Protection of Wood from Decay Fungi by Acetylation—An Ultrastructural and Chemical Study


  • M. D. Peterson
  • R. J. Thomas


Fraxinus americana L., Pinus taeda L., Liriodendron tulipifera L., brown rot, white rot, acetylation, cell walls, bore-hole formation, hyphae, wood decay, Coriolus versicolor, Gleophyllum trabeum


At acetylated weight gains of 15% or above, ultrastructural evidence of wall decomposition was lacking and hyphal cells appeared to be "starved." Blockage of action of fungal catalysts appears to be the primary protection mode of the acetylation technique. The maximum acetylation treatments inhibited consumption of wall polymers and prevented bore-hole formation. Hyphal penetration of cell walls did not proceed by mechanical forces alone; rather, the process was dependent upon chemical action in advance of hyphal tips. A comparison of colonization habits and holocellulose consumption by decay fungi in acetylated woods suggests that the activity. synthesis, or both of lignin-degrading catalysts of the white-rotter is dependent on prior or simultaneous breakdown of carbohydrates.


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