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Report, 1974

Microscopic studies on the degradation of cellophane and various cellulosic fibres by wood-attacking microfungi

Nilsson, Thomas


Microscopic studies have been carried out on the degradation of cellophane and various cellulosic fibres by a number of wood-attacking microfungi. The formation of cavities of soft rot type was especially studied. The following fibre materials were studied: birch wood (Betula verrucosa Ehrh.), a sulphate pulp (from Pinus silvestris L.) with a lignin content of 10.8 %, spruce holocellulose (from Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), jute, sisal, kapok and cotton. All of the wood-degrading fungi were found to be able to degrade cellophane. Cavities of the soft rot type were formed in all the tested fibres. Most of the fungi failed, however, to form cavities when cultured in liquid media. Cavities were most easily formed in the intact lignified fibres. The number of cavities formed in the delignified wood fibres and in the cotton fibres was far less. The cavity-forming ability varied considerably among the different species. Only the species which were able to form cavities in birch wood were found to form cavities in the other fibres tested. Most of the species also produced an erosion-type attack in the delignified wood fibres and the cotton fibres. The degradation of cellophane and cotton by all the wood-degrading species demonstrated that they are able to degrade both cellulose in wood and pure cellulose.


microfungi; cellulosic fibres; Betula; Pinus silvestris; Picea abies

Published in

Studia Forestalia Suecica
ISBN: 91-38-01948-5
Publisher: Skogshögskolan

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