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Biocontrol Agents and Secondary Metabolites
2021, 41-63

Trichoderma-plant-pathogen interactions for benefit of agriculture and environment

Narendra Kumar, S.M. Paul Khurana

Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University Haryana, Gurgaon, India.


Biological control is an application of beneficial organisms, genes, and their products in the form of metabolites. This may reduce the negative activity of plant pathogens on plants. Trichoderma comes in the category of the most useful biocontrol agents and is used widely in agriculture as a bio-fungicide. The registered bio-fungicides covering up to 60% are associated with Trichoderma. Disease suppression occurs by interactions between the plant-pathogens and the microbial community. Trichoderma has the capacity to protect plants and harbor microbial populations in different conditions of soil. This is sold as formulations for soil amendments, biofertilizers, and biopesticides. They release compounds and secondary metabolites which are biologically active and have the power to degrade the pathogen cell wall. The plant defense induction through the killing of one fungus by another is popularly known as mycoparasitism, which is a mechanism of biological control through Trichoderma. To know the mechanisms at the molecular level is useful in developing/identifying strains having superior biocontrol activity. Studies have been made on genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. This may speed up our understanding of Trichoderma spp. use for biocontrol. This chapter records recent developments regarding biocontrol occurring in Trichoderma-plant-pathogen interactions. The network of Trichoderma-plants-pathogens passes through multiple mechanisms. This also reviews the new power of Trichoderma for disease suppression. Better knowledge of these factors will enhance rapid identification of potential and useful strains of Trichoderma.

Keywords: Trichoderma spp., Pseudomonas spp., Biological control, Trichoderma-plant-pathogen, Mycoparasitism, Antibiosis, Competition.

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