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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
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Durability and Wood Protection Research

Project Title :  Sharply targeted inhibitors to protect wood products in service and prevent economic and resource losses that result from biodeterioration
Project Number : FPL-4723-1A
Status : NEW
Start Date : 01-23-2015
End Date : 01-22-2020


View the 29 publications associated with this project.

Principal Investigator:
Carol A. Clausen

Non Technical Summary
PhotoAn important limitation to the usefulness of wood, and a prime cause of user dissatisfaction, is its vulnerability to biodeteriorating fungi and insects under certain conditions of storage and use. Efforts to protect wood from biological degradation have successfully reduced the demand for lumber from our National Forests by reducing the need to repeatedly replace existing wood products. Targeted protection systems are needed to replace the broad spectrum biocides traditionally used to inhibit decay and mold fungi, and termites. Mold growth and its impact on indoor air quality have become an increasingly problematic housing issue despite the fact that mold fungi do not cause structural changes to wood. Airborne spores can cause health problems in human occupants and their presence is indicative of elevated moisture. Environmentally benign mold inhibitors for surface treatment of dimension lumber or for incorporation into engineered composites need to be developed.


Objectives Summary
New environmentally compatible preservatives will be developed to replace conventional broad-spectrum pesticides. We will develop, test and validate new evaluation methods based on biochemical properties of decay fungi or mechanical properties of wood. Experimental formulations assessed in laboratory mold, decay and termite tests will be correlated with field tests.


Approach Summary
Results from studies that reveal the fungal mechanism of preservative tolerance and the termite mechanism of maintaining colony vitality will be used to develop targeted inhibitors that will replace broad spectrum chemical biocides. We will develop a genetic database of microbial activity during the process of wood deterioration that will elucidate the microbial ecology of in vivo biodeterioration in the context of our changing climate. Novel protection methods will incorporate nanotechnology for design and/or controlled delivery of biocides for improved durability of building materials, with an emphasis on engineered composites. Outcomes from foundation research will be used to address protection of wood products from fungal and insect attack in interior applications as well, where air quality and occupant safety are important.

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2017Activity of two strobilurin fungicides against three species of decay fungi in agar plate tests08/23/17
2018Antioxidant effects of four heartwood extractives on midgut enzyme activity in Heterotermes indicola (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae)06/06/18
2015Cellulose Nanocrystal Entrapment of Benzalkonium Chloride in Southern Pine: Biological, Chemical, and Physical Properties09/15/15
2014Chapter 3: Omics and the Future of Sustainable Biomaterials08/13/15
2014Chapter 4: Genetic Identification of Fungi Involved in Wood Decay02/11/15
2017Characterization of the maize lipoxygenase gene family in relation to aflatoxin accumulation resistance08/25/17
2017Defeating copper tolerance: an example of how “omics” research can accelerate discovery of new wood protection compounds09/21/17
2016Dual protection of wood surface treated with melamine-modified urea-formaldehyde resin mixed with ammonium polyphosphate against both fire and decay12/20/16
2015Durability of Capped Wood Plastic Composites05/03/16
2016Effect of Fungal Competition on Decay Rates in Bicultured Soil Bottle Assays07/28/16
2017Effects of heartwood extractives on symbiotic protozoan communities and mortality in two termite species09/15/17
2018Fungal–copper interactions in wood examined with large field of view synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy07/26/18
2013Gene Expression Analysis of Copper Tolerance and Wood Decay in the Brown Rot Fungus Fibroporia radiculosa09/15/15
2018Gene expression analysis of wood decay fungus Fibroporia Radiculosa grown In ACQ-treated wood06/06/18
2018genome-wide association and metabolic pathway analysis of corn earworm resistance in maize04/09/18
2015Genome-Wide Association Mapping of and Aspergillus flavus Aflatoxin Accumulation Resistance in Maize08/26/15
2018Indirect effects of bark beetle-generated dead wood on biogeochemical and decomposition processes in a pine forest04/04/19
2015Influence of xylem ray integrity and degree of polymerization on bending strength of beech wood decayed by Pleurotus ostreatus and Trametes versicolor07/16/15
2015Insights into the mechanism of copper-tolerance in Fibroporia radiculosa: The biosynthesis of oxalate12/07/15
2015Laboratory Evaluations of Durability of Southern Pine Pressure Treated With Extractives From Durable Wood Species07/12/16
2016Laboratory evaluations of woods from Pakistan and their extractives against Postia placenta and Trametes versicolor08/03/16
2019Leveraging GWAS data to identify metabolic pathways and networks involved in maize lipid biosynthesis05/03/19
2015Mechanical properties and chemical composition of beech wood exposed for 30 and 120 days to white-rot fungi02/11/15
2012Short-Read Sequencing for Genomic Analysis of the Brown Rot Fungus Fibroporia radiculosa09/15/15
2018Survey of candidate genes for maize resistance to infection by Aspergillus flavus and/or aflatoxin contamination05/30/18
2017Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy enables multiscale spatial visualization of ions involved in fungal lignocellulose deconstruction03/01/17
2016The copper-transporting ATPase pump and its potential role in copper-tolerance02/09/17
2015Toxicity threshold of chitosan for the subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes10/05/16
2017Untreated and copper-treated wood soaked in sodium oxalate: effects of decay by copper-tolerant and copper-sensitive fungi10/06/17

Project Summaries last modified: 03-04-2015