Trichoderma, precious allies in agriculture

Decades of observations and studies on fungal species belonging to the Trichoderma genus have shown that there are numerous interesting ones in agriculture, some of which are authorized for use in the formulation of products for the nutrition and protection of cultivated plants.

In fact, these are fungi with a diversified action, capable of influencing the health and productive performance of herbaceous and tree crops in various ways.

What are Trichoderma

The fungi of the genus Trichoderma are soil microorganisms. This fact has sometimes been overshadowed by their use in the formulation of liquid products used for applications on wood, for example for the protection of wounds caused by pruning. Trichoderma, in fact, is able to colonize these wounds and counteract the entry, for example, of the fungi responsible overall for the Esca disease in vines.

However, the ability of Trichoderma to multiply on epigeal parts of plants is, for all intents and purposes, a “bonus” found in these microorganisms that, on the other hand, tend to live in the soil or become endophytes. So much so that even in the colonization of pruning wounds, there is a penetration of the fungus to a certain depth below the surface of the cut.

The most studied species, and of which some specific strains are exploited in agriculture, are: Trichoderma asperellum (formerly classified as T. harzianum), Trichoderma gamsii, Trichoderma atroviride and Trichoderma harzianum.

Trichoderma improve the health of soils and plants

Trichoderma effectively colonize the rhizosphere and plant roots and produce various metabolites with antimicrobial characteristics. The mechanisms by which Trichoderma reduce the onset of plant diseases are: the competition for nutrients and space, the synthesis of antifungal metabolites, mycoparasitism, the production of lytic enzymes that degrade the cell walls of plant fungal pathogens, and the induction of resistance mechanisms in plants.

Thanks to these actions, Trichoderma have a significant impact on containing diseases caused by fungi of the genera Armillaria, Fusarium, Pythium, Phytophtora, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia, and Verticillium, both in the greenhouse and in the field.

Increase yields and quality with Trichoderma

The application of Trichoderma strains to the soil increases the productivity and quality of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous crops, such as vegetables, cereals and ornamental plants, thanks to the production of phytohormones (auxins) and substances with a phytoregulatory and biostimulating action. The latter include several enzymes (cellulase, protease and chitinase) able to promote the mineralization of organic matter and positively influence the availability of nutrients for the plant, and siderophores, low molecular weight organic molecules capable of chelating iron and increasing its bioavailability. This last function is particularly useful in soils with a basic pH, where iron is found in ferric form, which is poorly absorbed by roots.
The biostimulating action also increases plant tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought, salinity, the presence of heavy metals in the soil and extreme temperatures. For example, the inoculation of tomato plants with a strain of T. harzianum has effectively alleviated the negative effects of cold stress, resulting in an increase in the fresh and dry weight of shoots and roots, as well as an improvement in photosynthesis, growth rate and leaf water content. In the same test, it was found that the TAS14 and P5CS genes, which code enzymes and metabolic proteins that mediate plant tolerance to low temperature stress, were regulated in their expression by the inoculation of T. harzianum.

Tolerant and high-performing

The successful application of species belonging to the genus Trichoderma as biocontrol agents and biostimulants in agriculture also derives from some of their intrinsic characteristics such as their capacity for rapid growth on different substrates and resistance to numerous toxic chemicals, including fungicides (for example, azoxystrobin) herbicides and organic pollutants. In addition, Trichoderma has proven capable of degrading certain toxic contaminants, including trinitrotoluene and hexavalent chromium.

Agribios recommends

Agri Bio Aktiv is a soil conditioner consisting of humidified manure, not originating from industrial farms, inoculated with useful microorganisms (mycorrhizae, fungi and rhizosphere bacteria).

In addition to providing organic matter and nutrients, it promotes and directs the proliferation in the soil of microorganisms useful for the development of plants. Furthermore, its particular microbial composition, rich in Trichoderma harzianum and viride and in rhizosphere bacteria, limits the development of pathogens, with various mechanisms of action, responsible for certain diseases of the root system such as Fusarium, Pythium, Armillaria, Sclerotinia, Phytophtora and Rhizoctonia.

Using Agri Bio Aktiv makes it possible to improve the health of the crop, increase yields, improve soil fertility and reduce the phenomenon of soil fatigue, in addition to providing appropriate support for the development of microorganisms. Agri Bio Aktiv fits perfectly into the fertilization plans of farmers, encouraging natural compliance with the proper timing of operations.

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