FT-IR imaging microscopy to localise and characterise simultaneous and selective white-rot decay within spruce wood cells

Karin Fackler 1 , Jasna S. Stevanic 2 , Thomas Ters 1 , Barbara Hinterstoisser 3 , Manfred Schwanninger 4 , and Lennart Salmén 2
  • 1 Institute of Chemical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
  • 2 Innventia AB, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3 Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering, BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 4 Department of Chemistry, BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria


Spruce wood that had been degraded by white-rot fungi (Trametes versicolor or Ceriporiopsis subvermispora) and suffered mass losses up to 17% was investigated by transmission Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) imaging microscopy. A significant marker during incipient simultaneous white-rot (T. versicolor) was the cleavage of glycosidic bonds of polysaccharides that preceded their metabolisation. Simultaneous white-rot processes were also characterised by a relative decrease of the overall lignin content and a relative accumulation of wood polysaccharides. No early marker was found for selective white-rot (C. subvermispora) that removes mainly lignin by an oxidative process. This feature was detected only in wood samples exhibiting mass losses higher than 12%. Furthermore, it was shown, that simultaneous and selective white-rot processes were unevenly distributed within the wood samples but quite evenly distributed within single tracheids.

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