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Tunnelling Bacteria: An Underestimated Threat to Wooden Structures

Tunnelling bacteria caused the premature failure of pine posts in a kiwi fruit orchard even though the posts had been pretreated with  a highly toxic wood preservative used to protect them against wood-degrading fungi.

Tunnelling bacteria caused the premature failure of pine posts in a kiwi fruit orchard even though the posts had been pretreated with a highly toxic wood preservative used to protect them against wood-degrading fungi.

By Adya Singh & Thomas Nilsson

Bacteria that have evolved a clever way to feed by tunnelling within cell walls can thrive in pretreated wood in humid conditions, and may even have damaged new houses in Auckland.

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