Conventional Method

Various conventional methods are applied to initiate agarwood resin formation. The techniques often involved the physical penetration into the trunk (wounding), mechanical wounding, axe chopping, nailing, holing, burning, insertion of a microbial (mainly fungal) concoction (pathology) and response of the tree towards the administered stress (non-pathological). Many pure-culture strains of fungi such as Aspergillus nigerA. fijiensis, Chaetomium sp., Fusarium solaniLasiodiplodia sp. (L. hormozganensis), Gongronella butleriSaitozyma podzolicaCladorrhinum bulbillosumHumicola grisea, Penicillium sp., Trichoderma lentiformePhaeoacremonium rubrigenum, and Tetracladium marchalianum are isolated from natural agarwood are found to be effective biological agents to induce agarwood formation in healthy Aquilaria trees.

Therefore, fungal-interaction induction methods coupled with the application of biological inoculum are developed for agarwood induction. The advantage of using fungal inoculum is that it is generally believed to be safe for handling and eco-friendly. However, fungal inoculation will normally give rise to localized and inconsistent quality of agarwood due to the different fungal consortium used. As a solution, laborious holing process and long incubation time is required to maximize the colonized surface area on the tree to produce better quality of agarwood. The fungal infected Aquilaria trees are reported to deposit agarwood resin around the infected sites as barrier to prevent further fungal intrusion. Agarwood resin deposition accompanied with color changes of internal tissues occured within a year by injuring the trees. Although it is cost effective and requires only personnel with little or no scientific knowledge on agarwood, but these conventional induction methods usually result in inferior quality and uncertain yield of agarwood. Mass cultivation and large plantation of Aquilaria trees using these conventional methods have greatly resolved the shortage of agarwood supply in the global market.