Micromorphological characteristics of bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) fibers degraded by a brown rot fungus (Gloeophyllum trabeum)

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The decay pattern in bamboo fibers caused by a brown rot fungus, Gloeophyllum trabeum, was examined by microscopy. The inner part of the polylaminate secondary wall was degraded, while the outer part of the secondary wall remained essentially intact. Degradation in bamboo fiber walls without direct contact with the fungal hyphae was similar to wood decay caused by brown rot fungi. Degradation in polylaminate walls was almost confined to the broad layers whereas the narrow layers appeared resistant. The p-hydroxylphenyl unit lignin in middle lamella, particularly in the cell corner regions, was also degraded. The degradation of lignin in bamboo fibers was evidenced by Fourier transform infrared spectra. The present work suggests that the decay of bamboo fiber walls by G. trabeum was influenced by lignin distribution in the fiber walls as well as the polylaminate structures.

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