Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 1389–1394 | Cite as

Developing fungal pigments for “painting” vascular plants

  • Sara C. Robinson


The use of fungal pigments as color additives to wood as a method to increase forest revenue is a relatively new, but quickly developing field. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is currently the primary utilized hardwood for spalting and appears to be the best suited North American hardwood for such purposes. The combination of Trametes versicolor and Bjerkandera adusta has been identified in several instances as a strong fungal pairing for zone line production; however, Xylaria polymorpha is capable of creating zone lines without the antagonism of a secondary fungus. Few fungal pigments have been developed for reliable use; Scytalidium cuboideum is capable of producing a penetrating pink/red stain, as well as a blue pigment after extended incubation, and Chlorociboria sp. produces a blue/green pigment if grown on aspen (Populus tremuloides). Several opportunities exist for stimulation of fungal pigments including the use of copper sulfate and changes in wood pH.


Bjerkandera adusta Chlorociboria sp. Fungal pigments Scytalidium cuboideum Trametes versicolor Spalting Xylaria polymorpha 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ForestryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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