Chemiluminescence phenomenon associated with fungal wood decaying and the possible application for detecting wood-rotting fungi.
Takeshi Nishimura1*, Nobuaki Shirai2, Takashi Watanabe3, Tsutomu Hattori1 and Yuko Ohta4
1Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
2Industrial Research Center of Shiga Prefecture, Ritto, Japan
3Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
4College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Japan
The early detection of fungal decay is crucial as it often severely decreases the service life of wood. We recently found that a chemiluminescence (CL) phenomenon accompanies fungal wood decay. This finding holds potential for early detection of fungal wood decay owing to the ability of CL to be detected at extremely low intensity level. Faint yet definitive light emissions (so-called “biophotons” by its invisible nature) were observed at the early stage of decay for white- and brown-rot fungi, using artificially decayed wood specimens prepared according to JIS K1571. The white-rot fungi exhibited prominent light emission intensities (often over 10000 cps) whereas brown-rot fungi emitted considerably lower levels of light (usually below 300 cps). In this conference, the CL phenomenon and light emission mechanism associated with fungal wood decaying will be presented. Brown-rot fungi are known to be the most prevalent and destructive type of wood deterioration, often leading to rapid structural failure (Clausen 2003). Fomitopsis palustris will be a specific focus as it is designated as a brown-rot fungus in JIS K1571. Additionally, we will discuss our ongoing efforts to assess the sensitivity of CL compared with specifically primed polymerase chain reaction analysis for detecting wood-rotting fungi.