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Trichoderma as biological control agent: scope and prospects to improve efficacy

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Abstract

A major current challenge is to increase the food production while preserving natural resources. Agricultural practices that enhance the productivity and progressively improve the soil quality are relevant to face this challenge. Trichoderma species are widely used in agriculture to stimulate the plant growth and to control different pathogens affecting crops, representing useful tools for sustainable food production. This mini-review summarizes applications of Trichoderma strains in agriculture to control fungal pathogens, nematodes and insects, the involved biocontrol mechanisms, efficacy and inoculation forms in greenhouse, field and post-harvest conditions. Aspects of Trichoderma handling that influence on biocontrol efficacy such as preventive treatments, frequency of applications and delivery methods are discussed. Strategies useful to improve the antagonistic performance such as the use of native strains, protoplast fusion, formulation, growth on pathogen cell wall medium and combination with other antagonists in integrated treatments are discussed. This mini-review provides practical knowledge to design safe and optimal biocontrol strategies based on Trichoderma and pose challenges to expand its antagonist performance.

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Acknowledgements

We apologize to colleagues whose work could not be cited due to space constraints. Flavia Ferreira and Matías Musumeci are staff members of The Argentinean National Research Council (CONICET).

Funding

This work was supported by ANPCyT (Grant PICT 2018-01372) and National University of Entre Rios (PID-UNER 8103).

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Ferreira, F.V., Musumeci, M.A. Trichoderma as biological control agent: scope and prospects to improve efficacy. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 37, 90 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11274-021-03058-7

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