Trichoderma is a genus of free-living fungi that are commonly found in soil and root ecosystems. They are filamentous fungi that grow rapidly and produce a variety of enzymes and secondary metabolites. Trichoderma is known for its ability to colonize plant roots and provide several benefits to plants, including increased nutrient uptake, improved plant growth and protection against various pathogens. It is versatile in nature and interacts well in all environments including roots, soil and foliage. It interacts with its environment by different mechanisms like antibiosis, mycoparasitism, enzyme secretion and hyphae interactions to suppress plant pathogens.
Trichoderma viride and Trichoderma harzianum are two Trichoderma fungal species prominent in present agriculture trends. Get a comprehensive overview on beneficial effects of Trichoderma, and how they can be utilized through various methods and products through this article.
How does Trichoderma benefit soil and plants?
- Trichoderma species can suppress the growth of harmful plant pathogens like Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Pythium by colonizing the plant roots and producing enzymes that break down the pathogen’s cell walls.
- Improves plant growth and development by producing plant growth-promoters like auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins, which stimulate root and shoot growth.
- It helps plants to tolerate drought stress by producing compounds that enhance the plant’s water-use efficiency.
- Improves soil health by enhancing soil structure, increasing soil organic matter and promoting nutrient cycling
- They play a crucial role in bioremediation of soil, contaminated with synthetic pesticides and herbicides by degrading them.
- Used for production of transgenic plants with increased resistance to fungal infections viz tobacco and potato plants evolved after introduction of endochitinase gene from Trichoderma has increased resistance to Alternaria alternata, A. solani, Botrytis cinerea and Rhizoctonia spp.
- Trichoderma can be used in a variety of crops, including vegetables, fruits, cereals and ornamental plants.
- It is a safe and eco-friendly option for plant disease management. It is non-toxic and does not have negative impacts on non-target organisms, such as beneficial insects and soil microorganisms.
Methods of Application:
- Seed treatment: Trichoderma can be applied to seeds as seed treatment to protect from soil-borne pathogens. Seed treatment can be done by coating the seed with a Trichoderma formulation and then shade dried before sowing. This method is especially useful for crops that are susceptible to damping-off disease.
- Seedling treatment: Trichoderma can be applied as root dip to improve root health and control soil borne pathogens that infect the roots. Soak the roots of seedlings in Trichoderma suspension before planting. This method is especially useful for the seedlings that are vulnerable to root rot.
- Soil application: Trichoderma can be mixed with FYM or well decomposed manure and then broadcasted into the field. By doing so, it can colonize organic matter and provide disease suppression along with nutrient cycling benefits when compost is applied in the soil.
- Foliar application: Trichoderma can also be applied to the leaves of plants as a foliar spray. This method is useful for controlling foliar pathogens, such as powdery mildew, and for stimulating plant growth and enhancing the plant’s defense responses.
- Drench application: It can be applied as a soil drench by mixing Trichoderma formulation with water and applied directly to the soil around the plant. This method is useful for controlling soil-borne pathogens that infect the roots or that survive in the soil as spores or mycelium.
Pathogens widely controlled by Trichoderma spp:
Trichoderma is effective in controlling a wide range of plant diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens and soil borne nematodes. It mainly controls disease causing pathogens like Fusarium, Phytopthora, Pythium, Sclerotium, Rhizoctonia and Alternaria, thus controlling root rot, collar rot, stem rot, damping off, wilt, blight/leaf spot, loose smut, kernel bunt and other diseases.
Best quality Trichoderma products available for sale on BigHaat:
|Product Name||Method of Application||Dosage|
|Anshul Tricomax||Foliar spray||3 gm/lit water|
|Soil application||2 kg + 100 kg of FYM per acre. Mix them and broadcast|
|Sun Bio Derma or Sun Bio Derma- H||Seed treatment||Mix 10 ml of the product in cold jaggery solution. Evenly spread them on the seed surface.|
|Seedling treatment||10 ml/lit water|
|Soil application||1 lit of product + 50 – 100 kg of well decomposed manure. Mix them and apply|
|Drenching||10 ml/lit water|
|Fertigation||5 – 10 ml/lit water|
|Foliar Spraying||5 ml/lit water|
|T.Stanes Bio cure F solid||Seed treatment||5 gm per kg of seed|
|Seedling treatment||10 – 20 gm/lit water|
|Drip||5 gm/lit water|
|Suckers & Bulb treatment||20 gm/lit water|
|Soil application||1.2 kg + 500 kg of manure|
|Dr.Bacto’s Dermus||Seed treatment||6 ml/kg of seed|
|Soil Application||10 ml/lit water|
|Foliar Spray||2.5 ml/lit water|
|Dr. Bacto’s Herz 4K||Seed treatment||20 gm/kg of seed|
|Ecoderma Bio Fungicide||Seed treatment||10 gm/lit water per kg seed|
|Seedling dip||10 gm/lit water|
|Soil Application||1 kg + 50 – 100 kg of FYM/manure|
|Surya Treat Bio Fungicide||Seed treatment||10 gm per kg seeds|
|Soil application||15 gm/lit water|
|Multiplex Nisarga||Foliar spray||3 gm/lit water|
|Soil Application||1 – 2 kg of product + 100 kg of FYM per acre. Mix them and broadcast in the soil.|
- Foliar spray can be given in early morning or late evening hours.
- Trichoderma, as a biocontrol control agent, is compatible with biofertilizers but is incompatible with chemical fungicides. So, remember not to mix Trichoderma with fungicides.
- Seed treated with Trichoderma should only be shade dried. Do not expose it to direct sunlight.
- Do not apply Trichoderma when the soil is dry because moisture is essential for its growth and survival.
- Check the product’s description to find the specific crop and diseases to be managed and the time of application.
Trichoderma is a versatile fungus that can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions, including different soil types, temperatures, and pH levels. It has evolved a range of mechanisms to compete with other microorganisms and provide benefits to plants in different environments. These characteristics make it a valuable tool for sustainable agriculture, as it offers a natural and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fungicides.