Oregon State University

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Event Details

Dissertation Defense: Paola Torres Andrade

Characterization of Fungal Communities in Selected Wood Species by Field Exposure Tests

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Fungi are the primary biological agents of wood deterioration and cause major economic losses of wood products globally. Wood in outdoor applications tends to remain wet for extended time periods, making it susceptible to fungal attack. Understanding the factors involved in fungal colonization of wood is important for developing improved methods for preventing decay, but the process is complicated. Several fungal species can occur simultaneously on the substrate, and many of these fungi cannot be isolated by traditional culturing methods. There is the need to use multiple approaches to study fungal communities in exposure conditions that simulate real life scenarios. In this study, fungal communities colonizing red alder, Douglas-fir and western red cedar exposed in stake and lap-joint field tests were characterized at the early stages of exposure. Samples installed at the Starker Post Farm (Corvallis, Oregon, USA) were collected at various time points over a two-year period. Fungal identification was conducted using culture-based isolation followed by sequencing of the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA of the isolated fungi, and culture-independent high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the ITS of rDNA. Combinations of approaches including identification techniques, wood types, exposure conditions, and time points increased the ability to detect greater diversity of fungal communities colonizing wood in outdoor conditions.


Paola is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering's graduate program at OSU. Her previous education includes a B.S. in Biology from Technological University of Choco, Colombia and, a M.S in Forest Products from Guadalajara University, Mexico. Her current work focuses on the study of fungal colonization patterns in different wood species in outdoor exposure.


Richardson Hall (campus map)
3180 SW Jefferson Way
Jessica King
Jessica.King at oregonstate.edu
Wood Science & Engineering
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