The *genus Trichoderma consists of more than one hundred species of filamentous fungi that can be found in most soils on Earth. These fungi are frequently observed as playing key roles in various ecological processes, many of which are beneficial to plant growth.
The *genus Trichoderma consists of more than one hundred species of filamentous fungi that can be found in most soils on Earth. These fungi are frequently observed as playing key roles in various ecological processes, many of which are beneficial to plant growth. This genus has been investigated extensively over the course of the last couple hundred years with specific interest in agricultural and industrial applications. Agriculturally, Trichoderma spp. are of such deep interest due a gambit of attributes including mechanisms for pathogen control, plant growth promotion, and decomposition of organic matter. Industrially, Trichoderma spp. are utilized in the mass production of enzymes and secondary metabolites that can be used in industries dealing with cellulosic materials such as fabrics and textiles. There is also work being done with the processing of cellulosic materials in the production of biofuels.
Trichoderma spp. are known to parasitize antagonistic soil-borne fungi due to their ability to produce and excrete *chitinases. These enzymes are also incorporated into the decomposition of organic chitinous material in soils such as dead insects and fungi. Trichoderma spp. are known to produce and excrete other important enzymes such as *cellulases. Cellulases are of huge ecological importance as the majority of Earth’s biomass is in the form of cellulose, which does not readily decompose. Along with the production of an array of enzymes, Trichoderma spp. are known to produce antibiotics that further aid in pathogen control. Lab studies have recently concluded that some strains of Trichoderma even possess the ability to illicit defense responses in plants which allow plants to naturally ward off pathogens. Much like beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma spp. establish colonies more effectively when in the presence of complimentary organisms. As bacteria and strands of *hyphae die off and build up in the rhizosphere, Trichoderma act as a digestive system and breaks down the organic material into smaller substituents, adding to the amount of organic matter in the surrounding soil.
noun: genus; plural noun: genera
a principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family, and is denoted by a capitalized Latin name, e.g., Leo.
*Chitinases are enzymes that degrade chitin.
Chitin (C8H13O5N)n (/ˈkaɪtɨn/ky-tin) is a long-chain polymer of a N-acetylglucosamine, a derivative of glucose, and is found in many places throughout the natural world. It is a characteristic component of the cell walls of fungi, theexoskeletons of arthropods such as crustaceans (e.g., crabs, lobsters and shrimps) and insects, the radulae of molluscs, and the beaks and internal shells of cephalopods, including squid and octopuses.
*Cellulase refers to a group of enzymes which, acting together, hydrolyze cellulose.
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula (C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to many thousands of β(1→4) linkedD-glucose units. Cellulose is an important structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, many forms of algae and the oomycetes. Some species of bacteria secrete it to formbiofilms. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. The cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90%, that of wood is 40–50% and that of dried hemp is approximately 45%.
*Hydrolysis is a reaction involving the breaking of a bond in a molecule using water. The reaction mainly occurs between an ion and water molecules and often changes the pH of a solution.
*Hypha (plural hyphae, from Greek ὑφή, huphḗ, “web”) is a long, branching filamentous structure of a fungus, oomycete, or actinobacterium. In most fungi, hyphae are the main mode of vegetative growth, and are collectively called a mycelium.