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Gerald Nelson

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry and Biochemistry


The polypore bracket fungi Phellinus Tremulae (P. tremulae) and Phellinus igniarius (P. igniarius) attack the aspen and paper birth in a saprophytic manner. The heart rot they cause, also called “white rot”, delignifies the host and weakens the host tree until it is useless as structural material. Historically, prior to 1965, the two species were combined under the nomenclature Fomes igniarius. All work done up to this time is subject to the ambiguity of this combined nomenclature. Since 1965 these fungi have variously been called Fomes tremulae and Fomes igniarius. Though less troublesome than the earlier nomenclature this still causes some ambiguity as to which fungus is which. The intent of this research was to identify a chemical indicator, a chemotaxonomy, to distinguish these two species of fungi using the current nomenclature Phellinus igniarius and Phellinus tremulae. Based on the examination of the fatty acids, a,w-dicarboxylic acids, phenylheptanes and steroids in these hosts and fungi it has been possible to delineate such a chemotaxonomical indicator and it is described herein.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fomes igniarius






Number of Pages



South Dakota State University