What is Trichoderma?
Your secret weapon in disease management and plant health.
The Friendly Fungi
Trichoderma is a genus of common saprotrophic fungi, isolated from decaying organic material, which displays a remarkable spectrum of bio-activity.
The ability of selected Trichoderma spp (strains) to directly antagonize plant pathogens AND to stimulate plant growth and defence responses has led to their widespread use in agriculture both for disease control and yield increases.
However, not all strains are created equal and it is only by using the best well-researched strains of Trichoderma in an effective product formulation that the huge potential of this multi-tasking subterranean work horse may be unlocked.
Our products contain a mixture of New Zealand Trichoderma atroviride strains, in proprietary formulations designed to support colonisation of the active ingredient and for easy crop application.
Products are built on multi decades of New Zealand use with research in-house and jointly with the BioProtection Unit at Lincoln University facilitating continual product innovation and improvement.
Trichoderma atroviride strains are characterised by a distinctive coconut odour from a specific secondary antifungal metabolite known as 6-PAP (6-pentyl-α-pyrone). This metabolite has been demonstrated to directly inhibit the growth of several plant pathogenic fungi, including Botrytis Cinerea, Fusarium spp, Sclerotinia spp, Phytophthora spp, Rhizoctonia solani and Armillaria mellea.
Trichoderma atroviride is non-toxic to plants and exempt from all MRL, there is no danger of over application or phytotoxicity. Environmental, with organic registrations, and User safety is exemplary.
Trichoderma fungi work well as soil inoculants. If using Trichoderma as a disease control rather than a preventative it is best to treat infections early.
How do they Work?
Multiple Modes of Action
Endophytic relationship with plants
Trichoderma thrive on interaction with plant roots. In fact, our unique Trichoderma species are classified as endophytes — a type of symbiont that is capable of directly colonizing plant roots and living within them.
Plants benefit from this colonization as Trichoderma release a suite of secondary metabolites to support their host. This includes auxin-like hormones that promote root and shoot growth, consequently increasing crop yield.
In addition to stimulating plant growth directly, endophytic Trichoderma also promote plant health and resiliency through their ability to both boost their host’s defence response to pathogens, antagonise soil pathogens, and out-compete harmful soil microbiota for resources.
Competition for space and resources
Introduced Trichoderma grow vigorously, especially when
provided with the growth promotors from our formulation. This enables the endophyte to actively and rapidly colonize plant roots.
Once established on active roots, Trichoderma outcompete pathogenic soil microbiota for soil resources. Trichoderma produce acidic exudates, which make a range of nutrients, like calcium and phosphate, biologically available to the host plant. Additionally, roots colonised by Trichoderma hyphae have increased surface area, which increases their potential access to these valuable minerals.
In addition to resource competition, Trichoderma outcompete pathogenic microbes for valuable space on the roots themselves.
Pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and viruses need direct contact with roots to cause infection. Trichoderma reduce the occurence of infection through providing a living, protective barrier.
Antagonism towards plant pathogens
Trichoderma antagonism other soil pathogens through two pathways — mycoparasitism and antibiosis.
Mycoparasitism refers to the capacity of Trichoderma to eliminate pathogenic soil fungus. Trichoderma actively use gradient sensing chemistry to locate other soil fungi and coil around them. Once contact is established, the Trichoderma excretes a mixture of antifungal enzymes, including chitinase and glucanase, which break down and digest the cell walls of the competing fungal mycelium.
Trichoderma can also release these antimicrobial enzymes directly into the soil, where they can eliminate plant pathogens at a distance. This process is called antibiosis.
Trichoderma induce local and systemic resistance within plants
In addition to directly mitigating soil-borne plant pathogens, Trichoderma also indirectly reduce disease severity and incidence through priming the plant’s own immune system.
While Trichoderma interact with plants as a beneficial symbiont, their colonisation of the extracellular region stimulates the plant’s immune response. This stimulation allows the plant to mount a defence against various pathogens that is both more rapid and more effective than their uncolonised counter-parts.
Overall plant growth promotion
Through these various modes of action (i.e., direct and indirect competition with pathogenic soil microbiota, mycoparasitism and antibiosis, induced resistance in plants, and endophytic relationships), Trichoderma significantly improve their host plant’s health, resiliency, and even crop yield.
Due to the numerous natural modes of action Trichoderma possess, there is no build-up of resistance over time, allowing growers to apply with confidence season after season.
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