Three-dimensional x-ray imaging and analysis of fungi on and in wood.

Van den Bulcke J, Boone M, Van Acker J, Van Hoorebeke L.

Laboratory of Wood Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium.


As wood is prone to fungal degradation, fundamental research is necessary to increase our knowledge aiming at product improvement. Several imaging modalities are capable of visualizing fungi, but the X-ray equipment presented in this article can envisage fungal mycelium in wood nondestructively in three dimensions with submicron resolution. Four types of wood subjected to the action of the white rot fungus Coriolus versicolor (Linnaeus) Quélet (CTB 863 A) were scanned using an X-ray-based approach. Comparison of wood volumes before and after fungal exposure, segmented manually or semiautomatically, showed the presence of the fungal mass on and in the wood samples and therefore demonstrated the usefulness of computed X-ray tomography for mycological and wood research. Further improvements to the experimental setup are necessary to resolve individual hyphae and enhance segmentation.

PMID: 19709462 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]