Discoloring Fungi  -  Discoloring fungi are fungi associated with the coloring of wood.  Discoloring is a poor term, when often there is an increase or change in color.  More on the topic: Most fungi that are able to grow in wood in living trees are associated with colored or discolored wood.  Most decay causing fungi will alter the color of the wood.  However, the fungi in the Fungi Imperfecti and the Ascomycetes are often called the discoloring fungi or the wood-staining fungi.  Much of the original work on the wood-staining fungi was done on those species in and near the genus Ceratocystis (then Ceratostomella, and later Ophiostoma, and now again back to Ophiostoma).  The imperfect genera were Graphium (mostly Ceratocystis) and Leptographium (which has been split into several other genera).  Some other genera of staining fungi were Phialophora, Trichocladium, and Torula.  The wood-staining fungi were studied mostly on wood products.  The staining fungi were considered contaminants when isolated from living trees.  The medium used for isolating organisms from wood in living trees was selective for the decay fungi.  When bacteria and non decay-causing fungi were isolated, they were considered contaminants.  Now we know that many species of fungi and, bacteria grow in wood exposed by wounds.  The organisms that are first to infect wounds may actually stall the spread of the decay fungi. (See SHIGO 2002)

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