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Title: Relationship between wood-inhabiting fungi and Reticulitermes spp

Author: Kirker, Grant T.; Wagner, Terence; Diehl, Susan.;

Date: 2012

Source: International Biodeterioraton & Biodegradation, Volume 72, 2012; pp. 18-25.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Fungi from coarse woody debris samples containing or lacking termites were isolated, and identified from upland and bottomland hardwoods and pines in northeast Mississippi. Samples yielded 860 unique fungal isolates, with 59% identified to genus level. Four phyla, six classes, 10 orders, 14 families, and 50 genera were recovered. The fungal groups encountered by decreasing taxonomic diversity were Imperfect Fungi, Ascomycota, Zygomycota, Basidiomycota, and unknown fungi. The most frequently encountered fungi were Penicillium (81 occurrences), Nodulisporium (57), Cladosporium (37), Trichoderma (34), Xylaria (29), Talaromyces and Pestalotia (27 each), and Stachylidium (26). The true wood decay fungi only accounted for 0.9% of the fungi isolated. The only statistical interactions associated with termites were the genus Nodulisporium, the class Coelomycetes, and the order Xylariales which all correlated with the absence of termites. Of particular interest is the strong correlation of the Xylariales and absence of termites. These white rot ascomycetes may have inhibitory effects on termites. In addition, the correlation of the genus Nodulisporium may be related as many species of this genus are considered asexual stages of Xylaria and Hypoxylon. There were also a number of significant interactions between wood species, habitat and presence of certain fungi. Most prior research has found an attraction of termites to wood infested with different types of wood-associated fungi. This study, however, found no positive statistical correlations between the presence of termites and any given group of fungi. An increased understanding of these interactions may help locate and isolate biologically active compounds that may influence termite behavior.

Keywords: Wood biodeterioration, Coarse-woody debris, Wood fungi, Subterranean termites

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Kirker, Grant T.; Wagner, Terence; Diehl, Susan. 2012. Relationship between wood-inhabiting fungi and Reticulitermes spp. in four forest habitats of northeastern Mississippi. International Biodeterioraton & Biodegradation, Volume 72, 2012; pp. 18-25.


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