Microbial Ecology

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 306–313 | Cite as

Trichoderma harzianum Rifai 1295-22 Mediates Growth Promotion of Crack Willow (Salix fragilis) Saplings in Both Clean and Metal-Contaminated Soil



We investigated if the plant growth promoting fungus Trichoderma harzianum Rifai 1295-22 (also known as “T22”) could be used to enhance the establishment and growth of crack willow (Salix fragilis) in a soil containing no organic or metal pollutants and in a metal-contaminated soil by comparing this fungus with noninoculated controls and an ectomycorrhizal formulation commercially used to enhance the establishment of tree saplings. Crack willow saplings were grown in a temperature-controlled growth room over a period of 5 weeks’ in a garden center topsoil and over 12 weeks in a soil which had been used for disposal of building materials and sewage sludge containing elevated levels of heavy metals including cadmium (30 mg kg−1), lead (350 mg kg−1), manganese (210 mg kg−1), nickel (210 mg kg−1), and zinc (1,100 mg kg−1). After 5 weeks’ growth in clean soil, saplings grown with T. harzianum T22 produced shoots and roots that were 40% longer than those of the controls and shoots that were 20% longer than those of saplings grown with ectomycorrhiza (ECM). T. harzianum T22 saplings produced more than double the dry biomass of controls and more than 50% extra biomass than the ECM-treated saplings. After 12 weeks’ growth, saplings grown with T. harzianum T22 in the metal-contaminated soil produced 39% more dry weight biomass and were 16% taller than the noninoculated controls. This is the first report of tree growth stimulation by application of Trichoderma to roots, and is especially important as willow is a major source of wood fuel in the quest for renewable energy. These results also suggest willow trees inoculated with T. harzianum T22 could be used to increase the rate of revegetation and phytostabilization of metal-contaminated sites, a property of the fungus never previously demonstrated.


  1. 1.
    Altomare, C, Norvell, WA, Bjorkman, T, Harman, GE (1999) Solubilization of phosphates and micronutrients by the plant-growth-promoting and biocontrol fungus Trichoderma harzianum Rifai 1295–22. Appl Environ Microbiol 65: 2926–2933PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brimner, TA, Boland, GJ (2003) A review of the non-target effects of fungi used to biologically control plant diseases. Agric Ecosyst Environ 100: 3–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chao, WL, Nelson, EB, Harman, GE, Hoch, HC (1986) Colonization of the rhizosphere by biological control agents applied to seeds. Phytopathology 76: 60–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dimitriou, I, Aronsson, P (2005) Willows for energy and phytoremediation in Sweden. Unasylva 221: 47–50Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ezzi, MI, Lynch, JM (2002) Cyanide catabolizing enzymes in Trichoderma spp. Enzyme Microb Technol 31: 1042–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ezzi, MI, Lynch, JM (2005a) Biodegradation of cyanide by Trichoderma spp and Fusarium spp. Enzyme Microb Technol 36: 849–854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ezzi, MI, Lynch, JM (2005b) Plant microcosm studies demonstrating bioremediation of cyanide toxicity by Trichoderma and Fusarium spp. Biol Fertil Soils 42: 40–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Green, H, Larsen, J, Olsson, PA, Jensen, DF, Jakobsen, I (1999) Suppression of the biocontrol agent Trichoderma harzianum by mycelium of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices in root-free soil. Appl Environ Microbiol 65: 1428–1434PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Harman, GE (2000) Myths and dogmas of biocontrol. Changes in perceptions derived from research on Trichoderma harzianum T22. Plant Dis 84: 377–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Harman, GE, Shoresh, M (2007) The mechanisms and applications of opportunistic plant symbionts. In: Vurro, M, Gressel, J (Eds.) Novel Biotechnologies for Biocontrol Agent Enhancement and Management, Springer, Amsterdam (in press)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Harman, GE, Howell, CR, Viterbo, A, Chet, I, Lorito, M (2004a) Trichoderma spp.—opportunistic avirulent plant symbionts. Nat Rev Microbiol 2: 43–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Harman, GE, Petzoldt, R, Comis, A, Chen, J (2004b) Interactions between Trichoderma harzianum strain T22 and Maize inbred line Mo17 and effects of these interactions on diseases caused by Pythium ultimum and Colletotrichum graminicola. Phytopathology 94: 147–153CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Harman, GE, Lorito, M, Lynch, JM (2004c) Uses of Trichoderma spp. to alleviate or remediate soil and water pollution. Adv Appl Microbiol 56: 313–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haselwandter, K, Bowen, GD (1996) Mycorrhizal relations in trees for agroforestry and land rehabilitation. For Ecol Manag 81: 1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hoagland, DR, Arnon, DI (1941) The water culture method for growing plants without soil. Miscellaneous Publications No. 3514, Californian Agricultural Experiment Station, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kalnicky, DJ, Singhvi, R (2001) Field portable XRF analysis of environmental samples. J Hazard Mater 83: 93–122PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kilbride, C, Poole, J, Hutchings, TR (2006) A comparison of Cu, Pb, As, Cd, Zn, Fe, Ni and Mn determined by acid extraction/ICP-OES and ex situ field portable X-ray fluorescence analyses. Environ Pollut 143: 16–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lynch, JM (2004) Plant growth promoting agents. In: Bull, AT (Ed.) Microbial Diversity and Bioprospecting, American Society for Microbiology, pp 391–396Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lynch, JM, Moffat, AJ (2005) Bioremediation—prospects for the future application of innovative applied biological research. Ann Appl Biol 146: 217–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ousley, MA, Lynch, JM, Whipps, JM (1993) Effect of Trichoderma on plant growth: a balance between toxicity and growth promotion. Microb Ecol 26: 277–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ousley, MA, Lynch, JM, Whipps, JM (1994) Potential of Trichoderma spp. as consistent plant growth stimulators. Biol Fertil Soils 17: 85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sackett, D, Martin, K (1998) EPA method 6200 and field portable X-ray fluorescence. Pub. 1998 USEPA, Bedford, MAGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Srinath, J, Bagyaraj, DJ, Satyanarayana, BN (2003) Enhanced growth and nutrition of micropropagated Ficus benjamina to Glomus mosseae co-inoculated with Trichoderma harzianum and Bacillus coagulans. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 19: 69–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ward, NI (2000) Trace elements. In: Fifield, FW, Haines, PJ (Eds.) Environmental Analytical Chemistry (2nd edition), Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 360–392Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Werner, A, Zadworny, M, Idzikowska, K (2002) Interaction between Laccaria laccata and Trichoderma virens in co-culture and in the rhizosphere of Pinus sylvestris grown in vitro. Mycorrhiza 12: 139–145PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Whipps, JM (2001) Microbial interactions and biocontrol in the rhizosphere. J Exp Bot 52: 487–511PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yedidia, I, Srivastva, AK, Kapulnik, Y, Chet, I (2001) Effect of Trichoderma harzianum on microelement concentrations and increased growth of cucumber plants. Plant Soil 235: 235–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Adams
    • 1
  • F. A. A. M. De-Leij
    • 1
  • J. M. Lynch
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biomedical and Molecular SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  2. 2.Forest ResearchFarnhamUK

Personalised recommendations