, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 45–59 | Cite as

Relationships observed between Trichoderma inoculation and characteristics of rice grown under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) vs. conventional methods of cultivation

  • Febri DoniEmail author
  • Che Radziah Che Mohd Zain
  • Anizan Isahak
  • F. Fathurrahman
  • Norela Sulaiman
  • Norman Uphoff
  • Wan Mohtar Wan Yusoff


The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a management-based approach for improving rice production, has demonstrated various positive effects on rice plants’ growth, resilience and yield. These effects have been attributed in part to symbiotic interactions between rice plants and the microbes that live around, on and inside them; but research on this is still very limited. To examine such relationships, a multifunctional symbiotic fungus Trichoderma asperellum SL2 was evaluated to assess its effects, if any, on the germination and growth of young seedlings and then the subsequent performance of rice plants during their crop cycle. Greenhouse studies were conducted under gnotobiotic conditions to assess any effects associated with inoculating rice seeds with Trichoderma asperellum SL2 compared with uninoculated controls in terms of seedling establishment, an essential part of SRI methodology; and then assessing the capacity of this fungus to enhance the growth, physiological characteristics, nutrient uptake, and yield of rice plants growing under simulated SRI conditions. Results showed that the presence of Trichoderma asperellum SL2 in association with SRI cultural practices led to significant increases in rice seedling growth, germination rate, vigour index, and chlorophyll content, and elicited more favourable phenotypical responses from given genotype potential. The research observations further illustrated that for some parameters, there were no significant differences between inoculated and uninoculated SRI plants, both giving results superior to those for conventionally-grown plants even when inoculated. This indicated that SRI growing conditions are more favorable for Trichoderma to contribute towards the growth, physiological traits, nutrient uptake, and yield of plants, whereas conventional management methods diminish or inhibit these effects. Focused research remains to be done to establish how aerobic microbes such as Trichoderma can affect and accelerate the performance of rice plants being grown in SRI environments above and below ground.


Microbes Rice Trichoderma System of Rice Intensification Symbiosis 



The authors express appreciation for the helpful comments and suggestions from Radha Prasanna (ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India), Iswandi Anas (Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia), Frank B. Dazzo (Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA), Gary E. Harman (Advanced Biological Marketing, Geneva NY, USA), Amod Thakur (ICAR-Indian Institute of Water Management, Bhubaneswar, India) and Azwir Anhar (Universitas Negeri Padang, Indonesia). This research was financially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia under the grant FRGS/2/2014/STWN03/UKM/01/1.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Enviromental Sciences and Natural Resources, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Agrotechnology, Faculty of AgricultureUniversitas Islam RiauPekanbaruIndonesia
  4. 4.SRI International Network and Resources CenterCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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