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Trichoderma: A significant fungus for agriculture and environment


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The novel technologies in all areas of agriculture have improved agricultural production, but some modern practices affect the environment. The recent challenge faced by advanced farming is to achieve higher yields in environment-friendly manner. Thus, there is an immediate need to find eco-friendly solutions such as wider application of biocontrol agents. Among various types of species being used as biocontrol agents, including fungi and bacteria, fungal genus Trichoderma produces different kinds of enzymes which play a major role in biocontrol activity like degradation of cell wall, tolerance to biotic or abiotic stresses, hyphal growth etc. The understanding of filamentous fungi belonging to the genus Trichoderma has continuously evolved since last two decades, from the simple concepts of biocontrol agents to their recently established role as symbionts with different beneficial effects to the plants. Recent findings from structural and functional genomics approaches suggest the additional use of these microbes as model to study mechanisms involved in multiple player interactions that is, microbes-microbes-plant-environment.
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Vol. 11(22), pp. 1952-1965, 2 June, 2016
DOI: 10.5897/AJAR2015.10584
Article Number: 01E890258810
ISSN 1991-637X
Copyright ©2016
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
African Journal of Agricultural
Trichoderma: A significant fungus for agriculture and
Rajesh R. Waghunde1*, Rahul M. Shelake2 and Ambalal N. Sabalpara
1Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, N.A.U.., Bharuch, India.
2Proteo-Science Center, Faculty of Science, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan.
3Director of Research and Dean P. G. Studies, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, India.
Received 28 October, 2015; Accepted 27 January, 2016
The novel technologies in all areas of agriculture have improved agricultural production, but some
modern practices affect the environment. The recent challenge faced by advanced farming is to achieve
higher yields in environment-friendly manner. Thus, there is an immediate need to find eco-friendly
solutions such as wider application of biocontrol agents. Among various types of species being used
as biocontrol agents, including fungi and bacteria, fungal genus Trichoderma produces different kinds
of enzymes which play a major role in biocontrol activity like degradation of cell wall, tolerance to biotic
or abiotic stresses, hyphal growth etc. The understanding of filamentous fungi belonging to the genus
Trichoderma has continuously evolved since last two decades, from the simple concepts of biocontrol
agents to their recently established role as symbionts with different beneficial effects to the plants.
Recent findings from structural and functional genomics approaches suggest the additional use of
these microbes as model to study mechanisms involved in multiple player interactions that is,
microbes-microbes-plant-environment. In this work, historical development of Trichoderma spp., mode
of action against different biological agents, potential applications and recent mass production
techniques are summarized and discussed in detail with updated advances with their application in the
agriculture and sustainable environment.
Key words: Biocontrol agent, mycoparasitism, induced resistance, endophyte, mass production,
bioremediation, bioreactors, agrochemicals.
Trichoderma - a multifaceted fungus
Fungi in genus Trichoderma (Division - Ascomycota,
Subdivision - Pezizomycotina, Class - Sordariomycetes,
Order - Hypocreales, Family - Hypocreaceae) have been
known since 1920s for their capability to function as
biocontrol agents (BCA) against plant pathogens
(Samuels, 1996). They can be used either to improve
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health of crop plant or to increase the natural ability to
degrade toxic compounds by some plants in soil and
water. Some species of Trichoderma have the multiple
interactions (mainly Trichoderma harzianum strain T22
and Trichoderma atroviride strain P1) with crop plants
and soil borne fungal pathogens (Woo et al., 2006). The
different species of this genus have long been known not
only for the control of plant disease but also for their
capability to enhance plant growth and development,
elevated reproductive ability, capacity to modify the
rhizosphere, capability to grow under adverse conditions,
competence in the use of nutrients, strong
aggressiveness against phytopathogenic fungi and
efficacy in supporting plant growth and enhanced
defense mechanisms (Harman et al., 2004; Schuster and
Schmoll, 2010; Pandya et al., 2011; Tripathi et al., 2013;
Dagurere et al., 2014; Keswani et al., 2014). These
properties have made Trichoderma a omnipresent genus
able to grow in wider habitats and at high population
densities (Chet et al., 1997; Chaverri et al., 2011). There
is a numerous literature available on Trichoderma
research but recent updates in cooperation with long-
established facts are not summarized in past few years
(Gal-Hemed et al., 2011; Sujatha et al., 2013). This
review focuses on the occurrence of Trichoderma spp.,
their mode of action, commercial production techniques
with applications in agriculture and use in sustainable
environmental practices.
The fungus Trichoderma has a long history and it was
first reported and described in 1794 (Persoon, 1794) and
later suggested to have a link with the sexual state of a
Hypocrea species. However, it was difficult to assign the
genus Trichoderma/hypocrea morphologically. It was
even proposed to have only one species, that is
Trichoderma viride. The first move on development of a
particular protocol for species identification was made in
1969 (Rifai, 1969; Samuels, 2006). Trichoderma spp. has
been known from last 70 years for their ability to produce
antibiotics that inhibit growth of pathogenic organisms
and used as a biocontrol agents (Harman, 2006).
Subsequently, many novel species of Trichoderma were
revealed and by 2013, the genus already consists of
more than 200 phylogenetically defined species based on
rpb2 sequence (Atanasova et al., 2013).
The genus name Trichoderma was first proposed on the
basis of macroscopic similarity (Persoon, 1794). The four
species categorized in this genus were T. viride, T.
nigrscens, T. aureum and T. roseum collected in
Germany. These species were described as appearing
like mealy powder and enclosed by a hairy covering
further distinguished from each other by their different
colored conditions (Persoon, 1794). However, these four
species are now considered to be unrelated to each other
Waghunde et al. 1953
and presently known as Trichoderma viride (Pers. Ex.
Fr.), Xylohypha nigrescens (Pers. Ex. Fr.) mason,
Sporotrichum aureum Pers. Ex. Fr. and Trichothecium
roseum (Pers.) link ex S.F. Gray. The name Trichoderma
is now applied to be the most frequently encountered
green forms typified by the original T. viride species
described by Persoon, 1794. The first real generic
description of Trichoderma was proposed based on
colony growth rate and microscopic characters by Rifai,
1969. The genus was sub-divided into nine species,
distinguished from each other primarily on the basis of
conidiophore branching patterns and conidium
morphology. The nine species-aggregates proposed
were (1) T. piluliferum, Webster and Rifai, (2) T.
polysporum (link ex Pers.) (3) T. hamatum (Bon.) Bain.
(4) T. koningii Oudemans (5) T. aureoviride Rifai (6) T.
harzianum Rifai (7) T. longibrachyatum Rifai (8) T.
pseudokoningii Rifai and (9) T. viride (Pers. Ex. Fr.).
However, problem associated with Rifai’s key was
significant variation which remained to be defined within
each of the nine aggregate taxa. During the last couple of
decades of the twentieth century, several groups revised
and rearranged the Trichoderma genus mainly on the
basis of morphological characteristics (Bissett, 1984;
Bissett, 1991a; Manczinger et al., 2012; Bissett, 1991b;
Gams and Bissett,1998; Doi et al., 1987, Samuels, et al.,
There were some earlier reports about false
identification of certain species using morphological
characteristics, for example name Trichoderma
harzianum was used for many different species (Kullnig-
Gradinger et al., 2002) Recently, methods for safe
identification of new species are significantly facilitated by
development of and a customized similarity search tool
(TrichoBLAST) and an oligonucleotide barcode
(TrichOKEY), both available online at
(Druzhinina et al., 2005; Kopchinskiy et al., 2005).
Additionally, phenotype microarrays are useful for
classification of new species which allow analysis of
carbon utilization patters for 96 carbon sources (Bochner
et al., 2001). Chaverri and Samuels, 2013 analyzed
endophytic species on the basis of their habitat
preference and nutrition mode to understand species
radiations in diverse groups, and its potential use in
development of novel biological control strategies.
Several species could be characterized with well-defined
isoenzyme patterns during cellulose-acetate
electrophoresis, suggesting that this method can be used
for the analysis of biochemical diversity between and
within particular species of the genus Trichoderma
(Manczinger et al., 2012). The persistent efforts to clarify
variety and geographical incidence of T. hypocrea
promoted thorough documentations of the genus in many
parts of the world (Samuels et al., 2012; Chaverri and
Samuels, 2003; Jaklitsch, 2009). Presently, the
International Sub commission on T. hypocrea assigned
104 species characterized at molecular level
1954 Afr. J. Agric. Res.
( A different
member of this genus produces a broad array of
pigments from bright greenish-yellow to reddish in color
but some are colorless.
Trichoderma spp. is ubiquitous in environment
Trichoderma is an asexually reproducing fungal genus
most frequently found in soil; nearly all temperate and
tropical soils contain 101 to 103 propagules per gram
which can be grown in standard laboratory conditions.
These species can colonize woody as well as
herbaceous plants, in which the sexual teleomorph
(genus Hypocrea) has observed. Nevertheless, there are
many Trichoderma strains, including most biocontrol
strains with no sexual stages. In nature, vegetative forms
of the fungi persist as clonal, often heterokaryotic,
individually and in populations that most likely evolve
separately in the asexual stage. Trichoderma are strong
opportunistic invaders, fast growing, prolific producers of
spores and also powerful antibiotic producers even under
highly competitive environment for space, nutrients, and
light (Schuster and Schmoll, 2010; Herrera-Estrella and
Chet, 2004; Montero-Barrientos et al., 2011). These
properties make Trichoderma ecologically very dominant
and ubiquitous strains able to grow in native prairie,
agricultural, marsh, forest, salt and desert soils of all
climatic zones (including Antarctic, tundra, and tropical
regions) also found in lake, air, plant biomass, in the
vicinity of virtually all types of live plant species, and
seeds (Montero-Barrientos et al., 2011; Mukherjee et al.,
2013). Recently, marine Trichoderma isolates were
characterized to evaluate their potential use as
halotolerant biocontrol agents and found effective against
Rhizoctonia solani inducing systemic defense responses
in plants (Gal-Hemed et al., 2011).
Trichoderma as a biopesticide in modern agriculture
Trichoderma-based biofungicides are booming in an
agricultural market with more than 50 formulations
registered products worldwide. Nowadays, there are
more than 50 different Trichoderma-based agricultural
products being produced in different countries and are
sold to farmers to get better yields in different crops (Woo
et al., 2006). Presently, Trichoderma spp. based products
are considered as relatively novel type of biocontrol
agents (BCAs). The size of current biopesticide market is
vague and only scattered information could be obtained
based on registered as well as non-registered
biofungicides. Recently, Trichoderma based BCAs share
about 60% of all fungal based BCAs and an increasing
number of Trichoderma spp. based BCAs products are
registered regularly. T. harzianum as an active agent in a
range of commercially available biofertilizers and
biopesticides is being used recently (Lorito et al., 2010;
Vinale et al., 2006). The inherent qualities of Trichoderma
based BCAs are driving factors for their steadily
cumulating success (Verma et al., 2007).
There are numerous reports on the ability of
Trichoderma spp. to antagonize a wide range of soil
borne plant pathogens combined with their ability to
reduce the incidence of diseases caused by these
pathogens in a wide range of crops (Monte, 2001). The
mechanisms that Trichoderma uses to antagonize
phytopathogenic fungi include competition, colonization,
antibiosis and direct mycoparasitism (Howell, 2003). This
antagonistic potential serves as the basis for effective
biological control applications of different Trichoderma
strains as an alternative method to chemicals for the
control of a wide spectrum of plant pathogens (Chet,
Trichoderma can work as biocontrol agents in several
ways (Figure 1):
1. It may grow faster or use its food source more
efficiently than the pathogen, thereby crowding out the
pathogen and taking over, known as nutrient competition.
2. A biocontrol agent may excrete a compound that slows
down or completely inhibit the growth of pathogens in the
surrounding area of such a compound called antibiosis.
3. It may feed on or in a pathogenic species directly
known as parasitism.
4. It may promote a plant to produce a chemical that
protects it from the pathogen, which is induced
5. They can grow in an endophytic way in other species
and supports plant growth.
The most common reason for the death of many
microorganisms growing in the vicinity of Trichoderma
strains is the starvation and scarcity of limiting nutrients.
This can be effectively used in biological control of fungal
phytopathogens. Carbon and iron are two essential
elements in most of the filamentous fungi, required for
viability. Competition for carbon is effective mode not only
in Trichoderma but also some other fungi such as strains
of F. oxysporum (Sarrocco, et al., 2009; Alabouvette et
al., 2009). Under iron starving conditions; most fungi
produces small size ferric-iron specific chelators to
mobilize iron from surrounding environment. T.
harzianum T35 also controls Fusarium oxysporum by
competing for both rhizosphere colonization and nutrients
(Tjamos et al., 1922). Siderophores produced by some
Trichoderma isolates are highly efficient chelators for iron
Waghunde et al. 1955
Figure 1. Model depicting mode of action of Trichoderma spp. against pathogen and plant growth
and inhibit the growth of other fungi (Chet and Inbar,
1994). Hence, Trichoderma spp. outcompetes with
Pythium for available iron in soil and effectively controls
its growth. There are many more examples about
effective application of competition for the biocontrol of
pathogens such as B. cinerea, which is involved in pre-
and post-harvest loss in many countries around the world
(Latorre et al., 2001). These reports suggest that the
molecular and proteomic assembly of Trichoderma is
more efficient to mobilize and take up soil nutrients as
compared to many other studied pathogens and other
The proficient utilization of accessible nutrients is
resulting from the capability of Trichoderma to acquire
ATP from the diverse types of sugars, such as those
derived from polymers widely available in fungal
environments: cellulose, glucan and chitin and others, all
of them turning into glucose (Chet et al., 1997). Recently
the antifungal properties of filtrates of Trichoderma
strains were used to control Ceratocystis paradoxa
responsible for pineapple disease of sugarcane (Rahman
et al., 2009). Productions of proteins playing pivotal role
in root colonization by Trichoderma are also found to be
crucial in competition with other root colonizers
(Saloheimo et al., 2002; Viterbo et al., 2004; Brotman et
al., 2008) and some of them help to establish symbiotic
relationship with host plants (Samolski et al., 2012).
The mechanism of antibiosis is commonly reported
among many species including microorganisms and
plants. In case of Trichoderma, small size diffusible
compounds or antibiotics produced by these species
inhibit the growth of other microorganisms (Benitez et al.,
2004). Production of volatile compounds was not
detected in case of four isolates of T. harzianum that
were tested in vitro against Rhizoctonia solani (Cumagun
and Ilag, 1997). Strains of T. virens able to produce
gliovirin involved in antibiosis making it efficient biocontrol
agent (Howell, 1998). A mutant of T. harzianum strain
2413 with elevated levels of extracellular enzymes and of
α-pyrone increased resistance than the wild type against
R. solani and in assays of grape protection against B.
cinerea under different controlled environmental
1956 Afr. J. Agric. Res.
conditions (Rey et al., 2001). In tobacco plants,
exogenous application of peptaibols activated defense
responsive genes and showed reduced susceptibility to
Tobacco mosaic virus (Wiest et al., 2002). Coconut smell
is typical of T. viride isolates suggesting the presence of
volatile compounds that are inhibitory to pathogen
growth. These metabolites include harzianic acid,
alamethicins, tricholin, peptaibols, antibiotics, 6-penthyl-
α-pyrone, massoilactone, viridin, gliovirin, glisoprenins,
heptelidic acid (Vey et al., 2001; Raaijmakers et al.,
2009). The different pathways producing secondary
metabolites are illustrated and summarized recently by
Daguerre et al., 2014, including pyrone biosynthesis
pathway, polyketide biosynthesis pathway, peptaibol
biosynthesis pathway, flocculosin terpenoid/steroid
biosynthesis pathway, gliotoxin and gliovirin biosynthesis
Mycoparasitism is one of the main mechanisms involved
in the antagonisms of Trichoderma as a biocontrol agent.
The process apparently include, chemotropic growth of
Trichoderma, recognition of the host by the
mycoparasites, secretion of extra cellular enzymes,
penetrations of the hyphae and lysis of the host (Zeilinger
et al., 1999). Trichoderma recognizes signals from the
host fungus, triggering coiling and host penetrations. The
process of mycoparasitism involves direct attack of one
fungal species on another one. This complex process
includes sequential events, involving cycle of recognition
of fungal strain by Trichoderma spp., attack on cellular
machinery, and subsequent penetration inside the host
and finally killing of the host. Trichoderma spp. even can
grow towards fungal host by recognizing them. Such
remote sensing activity is partially because of the
sequential production of pathogenesis related proteins,
mostly glucanase proteases, and chitinase (Harman et al.,
2004). The response of different Trichoderma strains is
not similar in the process of mycoparasitism. Constitutive
secretion of exochitinases at low level which degrade
fungal cell-walls releasing oligomers plays a central role
in growth inhibition of pathogenic fungal strains (Gajera et
al., 2013). In some cases, the morphological changes like
coiling and formation of appressorium containing higher
amount of osmotic solutes such as glycerol induces
penetration in host cells. Trichoderma attached to the
pathogen, coils around the pathogen and formed
appresoria releases its content. It results in the
production of pathogenesis related peptides which helps
in both the entry of Trichoderma hyphae and the
digestion of the cell wall content (Howell, 2003). The cell
wall degradation of target fungus by these produced
chemical compounds results in the parasitism. There are
many factors affecting this process and at least 20 to 30
proteins and other metabolites are directly involved in this
interaction. The functions of different glucanases and
chitinases in the process of mycoparasitism are well
studied from Trichoderma spp. using gene-for-gene
experiments and future studies will definitely help us to
understand this complex process (Daguerre et al., 2014).
Induced resistance
The major focus of Trichoderma research was to
understand the direct effects on other fungal species,
especially mycoparasitism and antibiosis. The first clear
demonstration of induced resistance with T. harzianum
strain T-39 showed that treated soil made leaves of bean
plants resistant to diseases caused by the fungal
pathogens such as B. cinerea and C. lindemuthianum,
even though T-39 was applied only on the roots and
without any on the foliage (Bigirimana et al., 1997).
Induced resistance was found to be beneficial in more
than 10 different dicots and monocots, to infection by
fungi (B. cinerea, R. solani, Colletotrichum spp.,
Phytophthora spp., Alternaria spp., Magnaporthe grisea,
etc.), bacteria (Xanthomonas spp., Pseudomonas
syringae, etc.), and even some viruses like CMV. The soil
treated with T. harzianum strain T-39 was also effective
against fungal pathogens B. cinerea and Colletotrichum
lindemuthianum in bean plants. Similar findings were
reported from B. cinerea to other dicots (De Mayer et al.,
Similar studies have been conducted with different
Trichoderma species and strains on different plant
species, including both monocots and dicots. T.
harzianum strain T-22 is the only microbe reported to
induce systemic resistance to pathogens in model plants
(Contreras-Cornejo et al., 2011; Salas-Marina et al.,
2011; Yoshioka et al., 2012) and also in maize indicative
of its unique ability (Harman et al. 2012). Induced
systemic resistance is believed to be one of the most
important mechanisms of biocontrol effects of
Trichoderma (Harman, 2006). A variety of strains of T.
virens, T. asperellum, T. harzianum, and T. atroviride
stimulate metabolic changes that enhance higher
tolerance to many plant-pathogenic microbes including
viruses (Table 1). Likewise, this response appears to be
broadly useful for many crops; for example, T harzianum
strain T-22 induces resistance in plants as diverse as
tomatoes and maize, suggesting a little or no plant
Saksirirat et al., 2009 reported that isolate of T.
harzianum (T9) induced resistance in tomato plant (cv.
Sida cultivar) with reducing 69.32% bacterial spot
(Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria) after 14 days
post inoculation. Similarly, on gray leaf spot
(Stemphylium solani), isolate T. asperellum (T18)
induced resistance and showed significant reduction in
number of spots by 19.23% after 10 days post
inoculation. The elicitor filtrate of T. harzianum
(PDBCTh10 isolate) was found effective against root rot
(Phytophthora capsici) in pepper plant and induced
Waghunde et al. 1957
Table 1. Induced systemic resistance elicited by Trichoderma spp.
Plant species
Rhizoctonia solani
Protected plant by inducing terpenoid phytoalexins toxic to fungi
Howell et al.,
Colletotrichum lindemuthianum,
Botrytis cinerea
No infection on leaves when T-39 was applied only on roots
Bigirimana et
al., 1997
Tomato, pepper, tobacco,
lettuce, bean
B. cinerea
No infection on leaves when T-39 was applied only on roots
De Meyer,
A. thaliana (L.) Heynh.
Botrytis cinerea Pers.
Ecotype Colombia-0 (Col-0) showed resistance leading to reduced grey mold symptoms
Korolev et al.,
Vitis vinifera
Plasmopara viticola
Activation of defense related mechanisms
Perazzoli et al.,
Botrytis cinerea
0.4% T39 drench showed 84% decline in disease severity
Meller et al.,
Cucumber, bean, tomato, and
Botrytis cinerea and Podosphaera xanthii
Protected from foliar diseases by direct or indirect effect via stimulation of beneficial
microorganisms in the rhizosphere
Levy et al.,
B. cinerea and Xanthomonas campestris pv.
Activation of pathways related to antifungal compounds in leaves when present on roots
Harman et al.,
Green-mottle, mosaic virus
No infection on leaves when strains were present only on roots
Lo et al., 2000
Alternaria solani
No infection on leaves when T-22 was applied only on roots
Seaman, 2003
C. orbiculare,
P. syringae pv. lachrymans
Induction of defense related genes related to lignifications
and superoxide generation
Koike et al.,
Phytophthora capsici
Improved production of the phytoalexins capsidiol toxic to pathogen
Ahmed et al.,
Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans
Modulated the expression of proteins related to jasmonic acid/ethylene signaling
Shoresh et al.,
A. thaliana (L.) Heynh.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000
Induced systemic resistance to colonization by SKT-1 and its cell-free culture filtrate
Yoshioka et al,
A. thaliana
Cucumber mosaic virus
Improved defense mechanism against infection of CMV
Elsharkawy et
al., 2013
cucumber and A. thaliana
In cucumber- Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.
radicis cucumerinum and in A. thaliana against
B. cinerea.
Ps14 and Tr6 activated the set of defense-related genes
Alizadeha et
al., 2013
Alternaria solani, B. cinerea, and
Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst
Secreted proteins- Sm1 and Epl1 both induced systemic acquired resistance
Salas-Marina et
al., 2015
resistance resulting with 23% less infection
(Sriram et al., 2009). At a molecular level,
resistance to different pathogens is due to
increase in the activity of defensive mechanisms
producing higher concentration of related
metabolites and enzymes, such as chalcone
synthase (CHS) and phenylalanine ammonio
lyase (PAL), chitinase, glucanase and some
proteins from cerato-platanin (CP) family and
1958 Afr. J. Agric. Res.
phytoalexins (HR response) synthesizing enzymes such
as PKS/NRPS hybrid enzyme (Djonovic et al., 2006;
Seidi et al., 2006; Mukherjee et al., 2012). These
comprise pathogenesis related proteins (PR) and
enzymes involved in the response to oxidative stress
(Gajera et al., 2013).
Endophytic activity of many microorganisms (growth
inside plant tissue without any harm) may useful to host
plant by stimulating of plant growth, a postponement to
the beginning of drought stress and the obstruction to
pathogens (Piotrowski and Volmer, 2006). Endosymbiotic
species are capable of establishing colonies in plant roots
and triggers the expression of many plant genes affecting
stress responses. Recently, there are reports showing
Trichoderma isolates acting as endophytic plant
symbionts in some woody plants (Gazis and Chaverri,
2010; Chaverri and Gazis, 2011). Interestingly, strains
forming association with roots are altering the gene
expression pattern in shoots. These changes are the key
points in altering plant physiology and this can be
exploited in the improvement of many important traits like
uptake of nitrogen fertilizer, abiotic/biotic stress
resistance, and photosynthetic efficiency leading to
higher yields (Chaverri and Samuels, 2013; Harman et al,
2012). Phylogenetic analysis classifies all known
endophytic species as a separate taxa with the exception
of T. koningiopsis, T. stilbohypoxyli and T. stromaticum
within their clades at terminal position suggesting
endophytism is not an old trait but recently evolved in
Trichoderma species (Chaverri et al., 2011; Samuels et
al., 2006; Samuels and Ismiel, 2009; Druzhinina et al.,
Due to increasing interest in the biocontrol, awareness
about pesticide hazards, commercial production and use
of biocontrol agents has now come into a reality and
there are several reports of successful use of
formulations of Trichoderma in the green house as well
as in the field for control of various diseases, particularly
for the soil borne pathogens. For mass introduction of
Trichoderma in the fields, Trichoderma spp. is to be
multiplied on some suitable and cheap media which can
provide a food base for the initiation of the growth. T.
harzianum and T. viride are the two most commonly used
species and have been found effective when applied on
about 87 different crops in India (Sharma et al., 2014).
Available literature reveals that researchers have
attempted for use of varied substrates and techniques for
multiplication and introduction of Trichoderma into the soil
(Sabalpara, 2014). One of the greatest impediments to
biological control by Trichoderma has been the scarcity of
methods for mass culturing and delivering the biocontrol
agents. The problem in developing biopesticides, a living
system, is during the process of formulation and short
shelf life. The most widely used fungal antagonists,
Trichoderma spp. have been grown on solid substrate
like wheat straw, sorghum grains, wheat bran, coffee
husk, wheat bran-saw dust, diatomaceous earth granules
impregnated with molasses and so forth for their mass
multiplication (Table 2).
Papavizas et al. (1984) produced biomass of fungal
antagonists by liquid fermentation consisting of molasses
and brewer’s yeast. Montealegre et al. (1993) proposed
liquid fermentation method consisting of molasses, wheat
bran and yeast on large scale production of T. harzianum.
Since Trichoderma sporulates relatively poorly in liquid
media and sporulates well on various solid substrates,
solid substrate fermentation (SSF) process was preferred
over the other due to some inherent advantages under
Indian conditions. These include utilization of large
number of agro wastes as substrate for the en mass
production of Trichoderma, use of a wide variety of
matrices, low capital investment, low energy expenditure,
less expensive downstream processing, less water usage
and lower waste water output, potential higher volumetric
productivity, high reproducibility, lesser fermentation
space and easier control of contamination. Fermented
biomass of Trichoderma consisted mainly of
chlamydospores and conidia with some amount of
mycelia fragments. The controlled physiological
parameters are crucial in production of viable spores
suggesting carbon to nitrogen ratio in medium or
substrate, pH, and cultivation time are important (Agosin
et al., 1997).
Solid state fermentation
Among the grains, sorghum proved very useful and
cheaper for the production of nucleus culture while
among the organic matter farm yard manure and
seasoned pressmud proved superior. Pressmud proved
very useful and more applicable source especially in
sugar factory area. From the agro wastes tested wheat
bran and paddy straw suggested as the most promising
source for the mass multiplication of Trichoderma (Table
Liquid state fermentation
Liquid state fermentation is generally used to produce
spores from fungal strains. Among the liquid media,
Trichoderma Selective Medium (TSM) along with
mannitol, molasses and potato jaggery media were found
very effective and suggested for the mass multiplication
of Trichoderma spp. by many workers. Mass
multiplication of T. viride, T. harzianum and T.
longibrachiatum using decomposed pressmud was found
Waghunde et al. 1959
Table 2. Substrates successfully used for Trichoderma production.
Solid based
I. Grains
T. harzianum and T. viride
Rini and
Sulochana, 2007
T. viride
Sorghum, wheat
Bhagat et al.,
T. harzianum
Rice, sorghum, pearl millet
Parab et al., 2008
T. harzianum
Pramod and
T. harzianum
Upadhyay and
II. Organic matters
T. harzienum P26
Neem cake, coircompost, FYM, Gliricida leaves
Saju et al., 2002
T. harzianum (T5), T. viride, T.
hamatum (T16)
Cotton cake
Sharma and
Trivedi, 2005
T. harzianum
FYM, Local cow dung, Jersey cow dung
Pramod and
T. harzianum and T. viride
Cow dung with neem cake, coir pith, coir pith in combination with neem cake
Rini and
Sulochana, 2007
T. harzianum Rifai
Tapioca waste Pigeonpea husk and press mud
Jayraj and
T. viride
FYM, vermicompost, poultry manure, goat manure, decomposed coconut, coir pith
Palanna et al.,
T. harzianum
FYM, spent compost
Tewari and
Bhanu, 2004
T. harzianum
FYM, compost
Parab et al., 2008
T. viride
FYM, Peat
Bhagat et al.,
T. harizianum
Jatropha cake and neem cake
Tomer et al., 2015
III. Agricultural wastes
T. harzianum
Rice bran, paddy straw, groundnut shells
Parab et al., 2008
T. harzianum, T. viride and T. virens
Spent Malt
Gopalkrishnan et
al., 2003
1960 Afr. J. Agric. Res.
Table 2. Contd.
T. harzianum
Wheat straw, paddy straw, shelled maize cob, paper waste, saw dust, sugarcane bagasse, spent straw, wheat bran,
rice bran
Tewari and Bhanu,
T. viride and T. harzianum
Tapioca rind, tapioca refuse, mushroom spent straw, paddy chaff, wheat bran, groundnut shell, rice bran, sugarcane
baggase, wheat straw, shelled maize cob, paddy straw, chickpea husk
Gangadharan and
Jeyrajan, 1990
T. harzianum and T. viride
Saw dust, rice bran
Rini and Sulochana,
T. harzianum
Shelled maize cobs, paddy straw, paddy husk, wheat bran,
baggase, sawdust, groundnut shell
Pramod and
Palakshappa, 2009
Trichoderma harzianum, T. virens and T.
Onion rind (dry onion skin), apple and strawberry pomace, rapeseed meal
Smolinska, et al.,
T. harzianum (T5), T. viride, T. hamatum
Tea waste, sorghum straw, wheat straw, wheat bran
Sharma and Trivedi,
Liquid based
T. hamatum, T. harzianum, T. viride
Molasses and Brewers yeast
Papavizas, 1984
T. harzianum strain P1,
Defined basal culture medium with mineral solution
Agosin, 1997
T. harzianum
Jin, 1991
T. harzianum strain 1295-22
Modified RM8
Jin, 1991
T. harzianum
Czapeck’s Dox Broth and V8 Broth
Harman, 1991
T. harzianum Rifai
Potato Dextrose Broth, V8 juice and molasses yeast medium
Prasad, 2002
T. harzianum Rifai
Potato Dextrose Broth, Czapeck’s Dox Broth and Modified Richards’ Broth
Das, 2006
T. harzianum
Local cow urine, Jersey cow urine, Butter milk, Vermiwash
Parab et al., 2008
most effective as compared to the rest of the
substrates tested (Gohil, 1993). In addition,
several techniques for the mass production of
Trichoderma spp. were established and proposed
by our group and other researchers based on
local conditions and availability of substrates
(Pandya et al., 2007; Sabalpara, 2014; Pandya et
al., 2012; Sabalpara et al., 2009). A novel
technique using talc mixed proportionately with
FYM (1:10) was developed for direct soil and
nursery bed applications (Ramanujam and Sriram,
Commercial level production
Bacterial based BCAs are being produced and
marketed by many commercial firms and available
in global market (Velivelli et al., 2014). In India,
there are more than 250 BCA products available
in the market. Formulization of commercial BCA
for agricultural application should possess several
desirable characters and need to have substantial
proof in order to convince farmers. These include
satisfactory market potential, easy preparation,
unfussy application, high stability during
transportation as well as storage, abundant viable
propagules with good shelf life, sustained efficacy
and accepted cost. Various carrier materials
proved useful for the preparation of formulation of
Trichoderma based BCAs because it works as a
food base (Table 3). Talc is the most common
carrier material suggested for commercial
production of Trichoderma worldwide.
The Trichoderma genus can grow in a wide range
of habitats and this is achieved by evolved
diversified metabolic pathways leading to the
production of various enzymes and secondary
metabolites. Production of commercially important
enzymes such as amylases, cellulases, 1-3 beta
glucanases, and chitinases were extensively
studied and this technology is continuously being
updated (Harman et al., 2004; Ahamed and
Vermette, 2008; Sandhya et al. 2004). Recently,
they have been found useful in the production of
silver nanoparticles (Maliszewska et al., 2009;
Vahabi et al., 2011).
Waghunde et al. 1961
Table 3. Various formulations of Trichoderma spp.
Talc based
Trichoderma culture biomass along with medium: 1 liter, Talc (300 mesh, white colour): 2 kg and
CMC: 10 g
Vermiculite-wheat bran
Vermiculite: 100 g, Wheat bran: 33 g, Wet fermentor biomass: 20 g and 0.05N HCL: 175 ml
Wheat bran based
Wheat flour: 100 g, Fermentor biomass: 52 ml and Sterile water: sufficient enough to form a
Wheat flour-kaolin
Wheat flour: 80 g, Kaolin: 20 g and Fermentor biomass: 52 ml
Wheat flour-bentomite
Wheat flour: 80 g, Bentomite: 20 g and Fermentor biomass: 52 ml
Alginate prills
Sodium alginate: 25 g and Wheat flour: 50 g and Fermentor biomass: 200 ml
Adapted from Pandya, 2012.
Bioremediation technology
Investigations on bioremediation of environmental
toxicants are entering in a new era with the application of
genetic engineering. However, majority of the studies
related to bioremediation have been conducted under the
laboratory conditions. The concept of utilizing fungi for
bioremediation of soil contaminated with certain
pollutants is relatively older. There is liberal evidence of
various Trichoderma spp. contributing to polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) degradation, even as
affecting native mycorrhizal fungi both positively and/or,
negatively (Azcbn-Aguilar and Barea, 1997). Degradation
potential of rhizosphere-competent Trichoderma strains
against several synthetic dyes, pentachlorophenol,
endosulfan and dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT)
were demonstrated previously (Katayama and
Matsumura, 1993). Hydrolyses, peroxidase, lactases and
other lytic enzymes produced by Trichoderma spp. are
probable factors aiding indegradation of these
contaminants. Therefore, application of some detoxifying
agents along with Trichoderma spp. would provide
healthy soil and environment (Table 4). It may help to
improve not only the health of soil and plant, but also a
sustained crop yield protection. Trichoderma spp.
inoculated in the soil can grow rapidly because of
naturally resistant ability to many toxic compounds, such
as fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and phenolic
compounds (Chet et al., 1997).
Trichoderma strains may play an important role in the
bioremediation of soil contaminated with pesticides and
possess the ability to degrade a wide range of
insecticides: organochlorines, organophosphates and
carbonates. ABC transporter protein systems in
Trichoderma strains may be involved in resistance
mechanisms against tested noxious compounds (Harman
et al., 2004).
Biotic and abiotic stress tolerance
Trichoderma species are good source of natural proteins
that may facilitate the plant to survive in the biotic as well
as abiotic stress conditions. The hsp70 gene from T.
harzianum T34 was cloned and characterized (Mantero-
Barrientos et al., 2008) and encoding protein expression
in Arabidopsis showed higher tolerance to heat and other
abiotic stresses (Mantero-Barrientos, et al., 2008). The
encoding protein product of this gene facilitates higher
level of fungal resistance to heat and other stresses such
as osmotic, salt and oxidative tolerances. Putative kelch-
repeat protein coding gene Thkel1 isolated from T.
harzianum regulating the glucosidase activity was able to
induce improved tolerance to salt and osmotic stresses in
Arabidopsis thaliana plants (Hermosa et al., 2011).
Number of proteins, for example mitogen-activated
protein kinase, Sm1 (Small Protein 1), 4-
phosphopantetheinyl transferase, and PKS/NRPS hybrid
enzyme from T. virens were confirmed and involved in
conferring resistance against several soil born and foliar
pathogens (Howell et al., 2000; Perazzoli et al., 2012;
Viterbo et al., 2005).
Wood preservation
Trichoderma spp. displayed a killing action against these
fungi in in vitro tests, but in situ action was ineffective.
Ejechi investigated the ability of T. viride to inhibit the
decay of obeche (Triplochiton sceleroxylon) wood by the
decay fungi Gloeophyllum sp. and G. sepiarium under
field conditions under dry and wet season in tropical
environment for 11 months. T. viride exhibited total
inhibition of the decay fungi by means of mycoparasitism
and competition for nutrients (Ejechi, 1997).
Industrial bioreactors
Biofuel production is one of the eco-friendly ways to
reduce expenditure on energy sector and tackle the
global warming effects on environment and human health
(Rubin, 1997). T. reesei, a non-biological agent is one the
1962 Afr. J. Agric. Res.
most important genus for industrial purposes as a factory
for the production of secreted cellulase in biotechnology
and a model for basic studies on protein secretion
(Ahamed and Vermette, 2009; Li et al., 2013). Molecular
insights into the mechanism of the cellulose degrading
pathways and genome sequencing of T. reesei provide a
platform to explore novel ways of metabolic engineering
(Kubicek et al., 2009). T. reesei contains the smallest
number of genes encoding enzymes responsible for plant
cell wall degradation within Sordariomycetes (Martinez et
al., 2008). An alternative strategy to the first generation
energy sources includes manufacturing of biofuels using
agricultural waste products with the help of cellulases
andhemicellulases produced by T. reesei or other strains
and further fermentation by other microbes such as yeast
(Schuster and Schmoll, 2010). Nonetheless, the
efficiency of this process needs to improve several folds
of magnitude to reach final goal of equally compatible
energy sources like fossil fuels. Additionally, genus
Trichoderma is a good source of many secondary
metabolites useful in application against phytopathogens,
which Keswani and co-workers have recently
summarized Keswani et al. (2014) Secondary
metabolites inhibiting growth of pathogens can be used
irrespective of geographic location and such formulations
can be produced with longer shelf life.
Sensitivity against agrochemicals
The efficiency of the bioagents is hampered due to
poisonous nature of fungicides which are used
simultaneously in crop production technology. Therefore,
the sensitivity and tolerance of Trichoderma have been
tested by our group and many others (Sawant and
Mukhopadhay, 1990; Pandey and Upadhyay, 1998;
Sharma, et al., 1999; Nallathambi et al., 2001; Sushir and
Pandey, 2001; Bhatt and Sabalpara, 2001; Patibanda et
al., 2002; Lal and Maharshi, 2007, Madhusudan et al.,
2010). The effect of different fungicides together with
Trichoderma spp. has been studied for integrated
disease management. Trichoderma spp. have shown
greater tolerance for broad spectrum fungicides than
many other soil microbes as it has the capacity to
colonize the pesticides treated soil more rapidly (Oros et
al., 2011). Trichoderma alone or their combinations with
bacteria or their immobilized formulations can have great
potential, as more than a few unusual contaminants can
be treated at the same time and will have wider
applicability, hence improving the overall cost
effectiveness of the technology.
Trichoderma spp. possess many qualities and they have
great potential use in agriculture such as amend abiotic
stresses, improving physiological response to stresses,
alleviating uptake of nutrients in plants, enhancing
nitrogen-use efficiency in different crops, and assisting to
improve photosynthetic efficiency. The use of this genus
has expanded worldwide as general plant protectants
and growth enhancers, besides their application in a
variety of industrial processes. The genome of
Trichoderma spp. has been extensively investigated and
has proven to contain many useful genes, along with the
ability to produce a great variety of expression patterns,
which allows these fungi to adapt to many different
environments (soil, water, dead tissues, inside the plants,
etc.). The metabolomics of Trichoderma spp. are
incredibly complex, especially in terms of secondary
metabolites production but with the help of advanced
molecular and proteomic approaches, it is possible to
explore new pathways, novel functions of compounds
produced by this genus and their potential applications.
The proteome of Trichoderma spp. growing in a variety of
conditions and interactions has been mapped, and the
information has been used to develop new products
based on synergistic combinations of the living fungus
with its secreted metabolites. These new formulations,
which combine biocontrol with biofertilization, are
considered to be more effective than older products and
active on a wider range of pathogens.
Conflict of Interests
The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.
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... They are cosmopolitan in distribution and commonly available in rhizosphere soils, plant debris, and forest humus. Temperate and tropical soils contain about 101 to 103 propagules of Trichoderma per gram [8]. They can thrive well in almost all soils due to their great competing nature and diversified metabolic system [5]. ...
... can be evaluated under laboratory condition by following common methods like dual culture method, inverted plate method, poison food assay, disk diffusion method, agar well diffusion method, etc. [68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81]. In addition to their biocontrol potential, they also benefit the plants by improving their photosynthetic efficiency, enhancing uptake of nitrogen from soil, and assisting plants to deal with abiotic stresses [8]. ...
... The main strategies include mycoparasitism, competition, antibiosis, and induction of resistance in host plants. As an mycoparasite, Trichoderma establishes itself as a formidable antagonist [102,103]; as a competitor, it deprives other fungi from resources [8]; by antibiosis, it inhibits growth and development of other fungi [104][105][106]; and as an inducer of resistance in host plants, it activates the plants intrinsic defense mechanisms, empowering them to ward off fungal infections effectively. ...
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The utilization of Trichoderma species-based formulations enables the eco-friendly management of several fungal phytopathogens. These free living, filamentous fungi are cosmopolitan in their distribution, found in soils of natural and cultivated plant habitats, and they can be easily isolated and maintained under laboratory conditions. With the aid of TrichoBLAST and TrichoKEY, the identification of the isolates of this genus is easy to achieve and precise. They have enriched metabolomics resulting from their wide ecological versatility, strengthening their antimycotic potential by reinforcing mechanisms like hyperparasitism, antibiosis, and competition. Several commercial products synthesized from Trichoderma species demonstrate significant antifungal efficacy against numerous fungal phytopathogens. The global scientific communities are actively engaged in exploring innovative technologies to maximize their biocontrol potential and overcome the challenge of limited shelf life inherent in most Trichoderma-based commercial products. The emerging fusion of nanotechnology and Trichoderma species can be promising prospect in this regard, unlocking new avenues in the field of plant protection. As rich source of secondary metabolites, this genus holds immense potential for the synthesis of several nanoparticles with synergistic antifungal potential. They can serve as new generation of fungicides within nano range known as “nanofungicides.” They could be useful as an eco-friendly substitute against hazardous chemical fungicides after careful long-term monitoring of their mechanism of action, and risks associated with genotoxicity, phytotoxicity, etc. This study provides readers with a comprehensive exploration of Trichoderma species, ranging from their identification, to their utilization in field of nanotechnology for enhanced plant protection.
... In recent years, there has been a growing interest in exploring biological control methods to replace chemical agents in combating plant diseases (O'Brien 2017). Within viticulture, Trichoderma species have emerged as prominent fungal-based biocontrol agents (BCAs) (Harman 2006;Muckherjee et al. 2012;Waghunde et al. 2016). These bene cial microorganisms employ various mechanisms to counteract pathogenic aggression, including competition for resources and space, mycoparasitism, antibiosis, and the production of cell-wall degrading enzymes (Harman 2006;Leal et al. 2021b;Pieterse et al. 2014;Van wees et al. 2008;Vinale et al. 2008;Waghunde et al. 2016). ...
... Within viticulture, Trichoderma species have emerged as prominent fungal-based biocontrol agents (BCAs) (Harman 2006;Muckherjee et al. 2012;Waghunde et al. 2016). These bene cial microorganisms employ various mechanisms to counteract pathogenic aggression, including competition for resources and space, mycoparasitism, antibiosis, and the production of cell-wall degrading enzymes (Harman 2006;Leal et al. 2021b;Pieterse et al. 2014;Van wees et al. 2008;Vinale et al. 2008;Waghunde et al. 2016). ...
... Moreover, Trichoderma spp. have demonstrated their ability to stimulate plant growth and enhance defense mechanisms (Harman 2006;Leal et al. 2021b;Pieterse et al. 2014;Romeo-Oliván et al. 2022;Vinale et al. 2008;Waghunde et al. 2016). In the context of grapevine diseases, Bacillus subtilis also ranks among the most commonly tested bacterial BCAs (Mesguida et al. 2023;Mondello et al. 2018). ...
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Without effective chemical treatments, there is an increased interest on biological control of plant diseases. Trichoderma and Bacillus species have shown biocontrol potential against several grapevine diseases. However, few studies have investigated the impact of introducing beneficial microorganisms in rhizosphere, on the indigenous soil existent microbiome. In this study, we conducted a greenhouse-based experiment to explore the effect of the two most well characterized BCAs in grapevine, Trichoderma atroviride SC1 (Ta SC1) and Bacillus subtilis PTA-271 (Bs PTA-271), on the grapevine rhizosphere bacterial and fungal microbiome, and on plant defense expression, using high-throughput amplicon sequencing, and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. Additionally, we quantified both Ta SC1 and Bs PTA-271 in rhizosphere overtime using droplet digital PCR. Our results demonstrated that, the fungal microbiome is more affected by factors such as soil type, BCA treatment, and sampling time than bacterial microbiome. Specifically, Ta SC1 application produced a negative impact on fungal diversity, while applications of BCAs did not affect bacterial diversity. Interestingly, the survival and establishment of both BCAs showed opposite trends depending on the soil type, indicating that the physicochemical properties of soils have a role on BCA establishment. Fungal co-occurrence networks were less complex than bacterial networks, but highly impacted by Ta SC1 application. Soils treated with Ta SC1, presented more complex and stable co-occurrence networks, with a higher number of positive correlations. Induced grapevine defenses also differed according to the soil, being more affected by BCA inoculation on sandy soil. The findings of this research emphasize the complex relationships among microorganisms in the rhizosphere, and highlight the significance of taking into account various factors like soil type, sampling time, and BCA treatment, and their influence on the structure and dynamics of microbial communities.
... They are free-living fungi that inhabit typical soil and root environments. Their rate of multiplication is very high and comprised of about 10,000 species (Waghunde et al., 2016). Temperature range of 25e35 C and varying pH are the cozy conditions for reproduction of Trichoderma. ...
... Time consumption is one of the important issues for growers during inoculum and land preparation. Secondly, the liquid state fermentation is performed for mass production of Trichoderma inoculum in liquid media before applying in the open field (Waghunde et al., 2016). It is a simple and time-saving method for generating the bulk volume of Trichoderma spp. ...
Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid. is one of the most important devastating pathogens all over the world. Several types of control management strategies such as cultural, physical, biological, and chemical methods have been developed against this notorious pathogen. Among these management techniques, biological control is an effective, sustainable as well as ecofriendly, method. Some beneficial fungi such as Trichoderma which could dwindle the pathogen population density during crop cultivation. Trichoderma is a promising long-term bio-agent in agriculture against particularly seed- and soil-borne pathogens, for instance, M. phaseolina. This fungus uses a variety of mechanisms, including antibiosis, mycoparasitism, pathogen competition, plant growth promotion, improved plant tolerance to abiotic stresses, and activation of pathogen defensive system. It has an ability to produce different kind of biochemical substances like volatile and nonvolatile, siderophore compounds which could promote biocontrol activities. This chapter mainly focuses on the significance of Trichoderma spp. and its mode of action for sustainable management of the destructive causal organism M. phaseolina.
... Trichoderma are typically anaerobic, facultative, and cosmopolitan fungi [65,66]. Trichoderma not only effectively controls plant pathogenic fungi but also enhances plant disease resistance, promotes plant growth and reproduction, modifies the rhizosphere environment, and facilitates nutrient absorption [67,68]. The mechanisms employed by Trichoderma to combat phytopathogenic fungi include competition, colonization, antibacterial activity, and direct fungal parasitism [69]. ...
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Mycopesticides are living preparations that use fungal cells, such as spores and hyphae, as active ingredients. They mainly include mycoinsecticides, mycofungicides, mycoherbicides and nematophagous fungi. The utilization of fungi for controlling agricultural pests can be traced back to approximately 1880, when entomopathogenic fungi were initially employed for this purpose. However, it was not until 1965 that the world’s first mycopesticide, Beauveria bassiana, was registered as Boverin® in the former Soviet Union. In past decades, numerous novel mycopesticides have been developed for their lower R&D costs, as well as the environmentally friendly and safe nature. In this review, we investigated the mycopesticides situation of registration in USA, EU, China, Canada and Australia. Superisingly, it was found that the registered mycopesticides are extremely raised in recent years. Currently, the insecticides, fungicides (nematocides) and herbicides were respectively registered 27, 53 and 8 fungal strains. This paper also analyzes the main problems currently faced by mycopesticides and offers suggestions for their future development.
... These Trichoderma species stand out for their capability to inhibit phytopathogens through several mechanisms such as competition, mycoparasitism, antibiosis, and stimulating plant defence; nevertheless, Trichoderma species are also able to trigger plant growth and induce resistance to abiotic stress (Lorito et al., 2010;Hermosa et al., 2012;Hermosa et al., 2013). These are filamentous fungi found in agricultural, native prairie, salt marsh, forest, and desert soils of all biomes (Waghund et al., 2016;Zhao et al., 2020) and have increased interest due to their high reproductive capacity, prolific producers of secondary metabolites, survival under unfavorable conditions, in addition, activates protective mechanisms to prevent the oxidative damage (Contreras-Cornejo et al., 2016;Shaw et al., 2016;Kashyap et al., 2017). The rhizospheric fungi, Trichoderma sp. ...
... Genomic studies have facilitated a more advanced understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of these fungi, together with furthering investigations on sexual crossings, and their role in ecosystems . The capacity of Trichoderma spp. to produce different enzymes, antibiotics, to induce resistance in plants, and to act as parasites of different pathogens, make these fungi the most studied biopesticide and biofertilizer (Solanki et al., 2011;Waghunde et al., 2016). Furthermore, the development of formulations of Trichoderma spp. ...
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Trichoderma, a well-known fungal genus and opportunistic plant symbiont, is a quintessential alternative to chemicals with great potential to minimize disease incidence. The mycoparasitic ability along with antibiosis and induction of host immunity are the main mechanisms of biocontrol by this fungus. Fungi belonging to genus Trichoderma have been identified as potential biocontrol agents due to majority of isolated antifungal bioactive compounds. This review summarizes the biological control activity exerted by Trichoderma spp. against plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes and insect pests. In addition, the research on formulations advocates that encapsulation could be a promising tool for increasing efficacy and durability of these fungi under field conditions. Further, advances in different areas of science and technology would strengthen the future research on Trichoderma-based products for its efficient use in agriculture.
... The recent challenge faced by advanced farming is to achieve high yields in an environmentally friendly way. Thus, there is an urgent need to find environmentally friendly solutions, such as the widest application of biocontrol agents (Rajesh et al. 2016). The term biological control (or biocontrol) applies to the use of living organisms to suppress population density or its influence on a particular organism, making it less abundant or less destructive than it should be (Poveda et al. 2020). ...
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Background Use of endophytic fungi, as pathogen control of Bipolaris maydis and Curvularia sp., is an alternative method of control without the use of synthetic pesticides that are more environmentally friendly. This study aimed to determine the potential of endophytic fungi in controlling the growth of pathogens B. maydis and Curvularia sp. in vitro and in spurring the growth of corn plants. It was consisted of three types of testing three endophytic fungal species ( Aspergillus _1, Fusarium _2, and Trichoderma _11), namely (1) testing the antagonistic activity of endophytic fungal against pathogens by double culture method, (2) physiological characterization of endophytic fungal as phosphate solvents and chitinase producers, and (3) testing of corn seed vigor with the blotter test method. Results The results of testing endophytic fungal isolates against B. maydis pathogens showed that the three isolates were able to suppress the development of B. maydis , whereas the Trichoderma _11 isolate showed higher suppression results than others. The isolate that showed the best ability to dissolve phosphates is Fusarium_2 with a dissolving index of 1.9 and their effectiveness up to 91.5%. Meanwhile, Trichoderma _11 was able to produce the highest chitinase activity index of 1.9 with an effectiveness of 90.6%. The best corn root lengths and plant height were shown on Fusarium _2 treatment. Similar outcomes were observed when Curvularia sp. was tested. The whole isolates were able to suppress the growth of the pathogen by 16.43–40.44% on the 4th day after incubation. Trichoderma sp. isolate was 72.50% more effective at suppressing than the other two isolates. On day 11, the isolate of Aspergillus sp. was suppressed by 62.50%, while Fusarium sp. showed the lowest suppression of 59.17%. Conclusions Trichoderma_11 isolate was potentially the best biocontrol agent against maydis leaf blight and Curvularia leaf spot in vitro. Meanwhile, the Fusarium _2 isolate had promoted the growth of the corn seedlings.
... These formulations are characterized by a short shelf life [192]. Liquid fermentation is commonly used for mass production of Trichoderma spores from fungal strains [193]. Compared to conventional fermentation, liquid fermentation has many advantages such as better control of contamination levels, reduced labor and space requirements, and process control. ...
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Empirical observations and theory both discourage the production and use of chemical fertilizers as they can lead to environmental pollution, soil degradation and reduction in soil fertility in the long term. In certain cases, excess nutrients from chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen and phosphorus can leach into nearby water causing eutrophication. Also, the production process requires large amounts of energy, which often comes from burning fossil fuels contributing significantly to greenhouse gas concentration. Biofertilizers present a promising alternative to chemical fertilizers and improve agricultural sustainability and reduce environmental pollution. However, there is still more to learn about the potential benefits of biofertilizers based on factors such as soil type, crop species, and environmental conditions. This review shows the Trichoderma species as one of the most prominent biofertilizers that can help in plant growth promotion and serve as a biocontrol agent against plant pathogens. An extensive summary of scientific literature on Trichoderma’s production, effectiveness in comparison to chemical fertilizers and its potential for use are discussed. Trichoderma species have been documented to possess numerous mechanisms to combat a wide range of plant pathogens, protect plants from biotic and abiotic stresses, reduce drought and salinity stress fungal attacks and promote root growth. Trichoderma is an ecofriendly organic fertilizer that can promote food security and enhance sustainable crop production. This article provides a comprehensive and up-to-date summary of the current state of knowledge on Trichoderma as a biofertilizer and indicates future research directions.
Strawberry root rot caused by Rhizoctonia spp. is a serious threat to strawberry production worldwide. Some Trichoderma isolates have been used in agriculture as biocontrol agents against phytopathogens, and as plant growth promoting biostimulants. In the present study, using selective medium, a total of 200 isolates of Trichoderma were isolated from soil samples collected from diverse geographical regions of the Lorestan Province, Iran. The in vitro and in vivo antagonistic potential of Trichoderma isolates were evaluated against R. solani isolated from diseased strawberry plants, and their growth promoting potential on strawberry plants were tested. The isolates with higher percentage of growth inhibition in the dual culture test were selected and identified based on morphological, molecular and phylogenetic analysis combined of ITS region and tef1 gene sequences. Ten superior antagonistic isolates, which suppressed colony growth of R. solani by 45–62.5%, were tested in vitro for the production of volatile metabolites. All selected isolates produced volatile metabolites and reduced mycelial growth of R. solani from 21 to 74%. LT140 and LT8, and LT9 decreased 67.8, 64.2 and 57.1% strawberry root rot incidence, respectively. Higher shoot height and dry weight were recorded by these three isolates, while the maximum root length and dry weight recorded for LT7, in both pathogen inoculated and non-inoculated treated soils. All isolates considerably increased peroxidase, catalase, phenol, chlorophyll and proline activities, which play important roles in plant defense mechanisms. It is concluded that these Trichoderma isolates are efficient agents to control Rhizoctonia root rot of strawberry.
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Phosphorus (Pi) deficiency is a major factor of limiting plant growth. Using Phosphate-solubilizing microorganism (PSM) in synergy with plant root system which supply soluble Pi to plants is an environmentally friendly and efficient way to utilize Pi. Trichoderma viride (T. viride) is a biocontrol agent which able to solubilize soil nutrients, but little is known about its Pi solubilizing properties. The study used T. viride to inoculate Melilotus officinalis (M. officinalis) under different Pi levels and in order to investigate the effect on Pi absorption and growth of seedlings. The results found that T. viride could not only solubilizate insoluble inorganic Pi but also mineralize insoluble organic Pi. In addition, the ability of mineralization to insoluble organic Pi is more stronger. Under different Pi levels, inoculation of T. viride showed that promoted the growth of aboveground parts of seedlings and regulated the morphology of roots, thus increasing the dry weight of seedlings. The effect of T. viride on seedling growth was also reflected the increasing of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and photosynthetic pigment content. Moreover, compared to the uninoculated treatments, inoculation of T. viride also enhanced Pi content in seedlings. Thus, the T. viride was a beneficial fungus for synergistic the plant Pi uptake and growth.
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Species of Trichoderma are diverse fungal microbial community known and explored worldwide for their versatilities as biocontrol and growth promoting agents. They are also widely exploited in industries as sources of enzymes. A large number of research groups are working on various aspects of Trichoderma viz., diversity, ecology and their applications. In India, about 110 groups representing various universities and research institutes are working with about 15 different species and have published about 460 research papers. Trichoderma harzianum and Trichoderma viride are the widely used species and have been exploited on about 87 different crops and about 70 soilborne and 18 foliar pathogens, respectively. This review aims to give an overview of the status of usage of Trichoderma on important agricultural crops by different groups and organizations in the country.
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Now a day, the environmental pollution caused by disproportionate use of chemical pesticides increased the interests in biological based integrated disease management, where chemical pesticides are substituted by bio-pesticides to control plant diseases. Trichoderma spp. is a potential fungal biocontrol agent against a range of plant pathogens. The major issue involved in mass production and utilization of bioagents are selection of efficient strains, development cost effective methods, for mass multiplication, effective methods for storage, and its formulation. Present study deals with use of different cereal grains for their suitability as substrates for mass multiplication Trichoderma harzianum. Sorghum grain was found as superior substrate as it gave maximum population (c.f.u.) and can be used for the effective mass multiplication of ThCh-1.
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Trichoderma is a genus of common filamentous fungi that display a remarkable range of lifestyles and interactions with other fungi, animals and plants. Because of their ability to antagonize plant-pathogenic fungi and to stimulate plant growth and defence responses, some Trichoderma strains are used for biological control of plant diseases. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in molecular ecology and genomics which indicate that the interactions of Trichoderma spp. with animals and plants may have evolved as a result of saprotrophy on fungal biomass (mycotrophy) and various forms of parasitism on other fungi (mycoparasitism), combined with broad environmental opportunism.
This book provides an update on the advances in Trichoderma research, covering most of the aspects related to the biology, genetics, genomics and applications of Trichoderma species. An overview of the importance of Trichoderma spp. in agriculture, industry and medicine (chapter 1) is presented. The remaining articles are broadly classified under the headings taxonomy and physiology (chapters 2-7), interactions of Trichoderma spp. with plants (chapters 8-12), and applications and significance (chapter 13-17). This book is intended for those involved in research and development activities dealing with Trichoderma .
The papers contained in this book were presented at a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) held at Cape Sounion, Athens, Greece, 19-24 May, 1991. The twenty-eight more comprehensive papers represent the key subjects of the ARW covered by invited speakers. The thirty-four short papers pre­ sented in a research format are contributions of those invited to participate in the ARW. There was a total of 70 participants from 21 countries. The objectives of the ARW were as follows: to review current knowledge of biological control of plant diseases and plant parasitic nematodes, with emphasis on mechanisms at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and ecosystem level; to examine and expand on current concepts and synthesize new concepts; to identify and prioritize limitations in the use of biological control for plant diseases and nematodes and the scientific research needed to overcome these limitations; and to develop strategies for biological control through management of resident agents or introduction of natural or modified agents.