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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 27, 2013

Condensed conifer tannins as antifungal agents in liquid culture

Anna-Kaisa Anttila, Anna Maria Pirttilä, Hely Häggman, Anni Harju, Martti Venäläinen, Antti Haapala, Bjarne Holmbom and Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto
From the journal Holzforschung


In the last decades, many wood preservatives have been prohibited for their ecotoxicity. The present article is focusing on the conifer-derived condensed tannins as environment-friendly options for the substitution of artificial wood preservatives. Eight different tannin fractions were extracted from spruce cones, spruce barks, and pine cones. The parameters of tannin extraction, such as the methods of purification and concentration of active components in the extracts, have been investigated. The cone and bark extracts were tested for the growth inhibition of eight brown-rot fungi, three white-rot fungi, and four soft-rot fungi in liquid cultures. The cone tannins provided a more efficient fungal growth inhibition than bark tannins. Purification increased the antifungal properties of the extracts. The growth of brown-rot fungi was inhibited by the tannins already at low concentrations. However, the extracts were not effective against the white-rot or soft-rot fungi. More investigation is needed concerning the tannin source and the purification procedure of the extracts before tannins can be considered as an ecologically benign wood preservative.

Corresponding author: Anna-Kaisa Anttila, Biology Department, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland, e-mail:

We thank Eveliina Hiltunen (UEF) for carrying out the acid-BuOH experiment, the VTT and the Åbo Akademi personnel for providing the tannin extracts, and the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster for the support and for financing the study.


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Received: 2012-9-21
Accepted: 2013-1-29
Published Online: 2013-02-27
Published in Print: 2013-10-01

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