Current issue: 54(2)
Saprotrophic wood-decaying abilities of Rigidoporus microporus (Polyporales, Basidiomycota) syn. Rigidoporus lignosus and the structural alterations induced in wood blocks of Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg were studied. Mass loss of wood blocks was analyzed after 3 and 6 months respectively and the patterns of decay by pathogenic and endophytic isolates of this fungus were investigated using light microscopy. Effects of temperature on growth of the isolates on malt extract agar were also investigated. The R. microporus isolated from a non-H. brasiliensis host caused the highest percentage mass loss (27.2% after 6 months), followed by isolates ED310 (21.1%) and M13 (15.7%), both collected from diseased H. brasiliensis plantations. The isolate initially identified as an endophyte showed very low saprotrophic wood decay capability (4.3% after 6 months). The optimal temperature for growth of the isolates was 30 °C; except for the endophytic isolate which showed highest growth at 25 °C. Wood samples degraded by the R. microporus isolates showed simultaneous attack of wood cell walls, typical of white rot fungi. Results of the study indicate variability in the wood degrading abilities of the isolates and the potential differences in their physiology are discussed. Our findings further support the need for a taxonomical revision of the Rigidoporus genus.