Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #68033


item Samuels, Gary

Submitted to: Mycological Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Diseases caused by fungi result in millions of dollars damage to agricultural crops and crop products each year. Many of these fungal diseases can be controlled using environmentally friendly means. Members of the fungal genus Trichoderma are useful as agents of biological control for many of these diseases. This paper provides a review of recent research on Trichoderma with emphasis on systematics. This research suggests that the number of species of Trichoderma available for use as biological control agents is much greater than had been previously known. Many of the species obtained from around the world have a sexual state and thus have an increased probability of being genetically manipulated. Using traditional genetic approaches these new strains may be more successfully used in controlling fungal diseases without using chemical fungicides. Those seeking improved methods of biological control and enhanced production of cellulase will use the information in this paper.

Technical Abstract: Species of Trichoderma, genus of hyphomycetes, are ubiquitous in the environment, but especially in soils. They have been used or encountered in many human activities, including commercial applications in production of enzymes and biological control of plant disease. They are the cause of disease in commercially produced mushrooms, and have been encountered as causal agents of disease in immunosuppressed humans. Knowledge about what constitutes a species of Trichoderma, or about interspecific relationships, has not kept pace with the expanding number of applications or frequency of encounter of Trichoderma by biotechnologists, plant pathologists and medical personnel. This review presents an overview of the interaction between humans and Trichoderma, and a more intensive review of knowledge of systematics and taxonomy of Trichoderma.