The optimal conditions required to market Trichoderma as a biocontrol agent against soilborne fungi and nematodes are discussed. These include a proper formulation, an efficient delivery system, and alternative methods for Trichoderma's application.
The implementation of Trichoderma in integrated pest management (IPM) can be achieved using a soil treatment which combines reduced amounts of biocides/fungicides and the Trichoderma preparation. Biocontrol activity can be increased by combining two (or more) types of biocontrol agents. Moreover, the construction of a genetically modified Trichoderma can lead to the improvement of certain traits which are absent or not highly expressed in the native microorganism isolated from its natural habitat.
Different Trichoderma harzianum and T. lignorum isolates were tested for their nematicidal activity against the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica. In short-term experiments, improved growth of nematode-infected plants and decreases in the root-galling index and the number of eggs per gram of root were achieved when nematode-infested soils were pre- exposed to the T. harzianum preparations. A long-term experiment resulted in improved growth and higher yield of nematode-infected plants, but no significant change in the galling index, either by pre-exposure of the fungus to the soil or by enrichment in the root-ball.
As biocontrol is an integral part of the IPM philosophy, judicious use of Trichoderma against soilborne pathogens, when demonstrated to be consistently effective, practical and economic, can serve as a model for the introduction and implementation of other biocontrol means into IPM.
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Spiegel, Y., Chet, I. Evaluation of Trichoderma spp. as a Biocontrol Agent Against Soilborne Fungi and Plant-parasitic Nematodes in Israel. Integrated Pest Management Reviews 3, 169–175 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009625831128
- Biological control
- Plant-parasitic nematode
- Soilborne fungi