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dry rot,fungus disease that attacks both softwood and hardwood timber. Destruction of the cellulose causes discoloration and eventual crumbling of the wood. This frequently results in the collapse of wooden structures such as house flooring, mine shafts, and ship hulls. Because the fungi require moisture for growth, dry rot occurs most often in places where the ventilation is poor or humidity is high or when the wood has been improperly seasoned. In the United States it is most frequently caused by a pore fungus (Poria incrassata) and by the dry-rot, or house, fungus (Merulis lacrymans). It may be prevented by application of creosote or other preservatives. Dry rot sometimes attacks standing conifers. The name is also used for other fungus diseases that attack the roots or stems of plants (see diseases of plantsdiseases of plants.
Most plant diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Although the term disease is usually used only for the destruction of live plants, the action of dry rot and the rotting of harvested crops in storage or transport is similar to the rots
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A fungi that feeds on, and destroys, damp rather than wet timber. Most often found in damp, poorly ventilated under-floor spaces and roof areas. Causes timber to lose strength, develop cracks, and finally become so dry and powdery that it is easily crumbled.
dry rot[′drī ‚rät]
A rapid decay of seasoned timber caused by certain fungi which cause the wood to be reduced to a dry, friable texture.
Any of various rot diseases of plants characterized by drying of affected tissues.
The decay of seasoned wood caused by fungi of a type capable of carrying water into the wood they infest.
1. crumbling and drying of timber, bulbs, potatoes, or fruit, caused by saprotrophic basidiomycetous fungi
2. any fungus causing this decay, esp of the genus Merulius