The biotechnological application of the white rot fungus Physisporinus vitreus named “bioincising” is currently being investigated for permeability improvement of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) wood. During short-term (<9 weeks) incubation, fungal activity induces degradation of pit membranes and a simultaneous alteration of the tracheid cell wall structure. In Part 1 of this article series, the occurrence of selective delignification and simultaneous degradation was shown by UV-microspectrophotometry (UMSP). Moreover, significant reduction of Brinell hardness was recorded after 7 and 9 weeks incubation. For a better understanding of the chemical alterations in the wood constituents and the corresponding changes of mechanical properties due to fungal activity, we applied microtensile tests on thin strips that were prepared from the surface of incubated Norway spruce wood. Indications for the occurrence of selective delignification and simultaneous degradation were evident. Determination of lignin content and carbohydrate analysis by borate anion exchange chromatography confirmed the results. The present study verifies the findings from Part 1 of this article series and from previously conducted microscopic investigations. Now, the degradation characteristics of P. vitreus are established and the bioincising process can be further optimized with higher reliability.
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