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Cell and Molecular Biology
MS Biology

Trichoderma harzianum

Trichoderma harzianum is a saphropytic filamentous soil borne fungus under the

genus of green-spored ascomycetes, known to be found anywhere in a wide array of
substrates, successful in colonizing their habitats and fighting competitors with their
degradative machinery for decomposition. (Do Vale, et. al, 2012; Schuster & Schmoll,

Trichoderma harzianum Bioremediation

Trichoderma harzianum has been found out to be useful when in comes to
bioremediation. Trichoderma harzianum produces and secretes a wide range of
extracellular hydrolytic enzymes very useful in degradation (Do Vale, et. Al, 2012). In
areas degraded by heavy metals with often poor in organic matter and low abundance of
microorganisms, Trichoderma harzianum is applied to accelerate the biogeochemical
cycles (Lynch & Moffat, 2005). A study conducted by Mohsenzadeh & Shahrokhi (2014)
showed that T. harzianum optimum cadmium removing capacity amounts to 82.63% (5.48
mg/g based on fungus dry weight). Another study by De Freitas Lima et al., (2011)
showed that the data on the removal process of cadmium by the Trichoderma harzianum
occurs at a higher speed during the beginning of funngal growth, followed by a decrease
in the process over fifteen days of cultivation.
Reports showed that in the Trichodenna genus, the Trichoderma species are active
in phytotoxic hydrocarbon pollution decrease. A study was conducted to test species of
fungi capable in degrading the hydrocarbon PAH pyrene. Saraswathy and Halberg (2002)
found out that Trichoderma harzianum degraded 65% and 33.7% of 50 mg and 100 mg/l ,
respectively, of pyrene during 28 days incubation.

Trichoderma harzianum Biocontrol Agent

Trichoderma harzianum is an important phytopathogen bioantagonist against soil
borne microorganisms such as Rhizoctonia solani and Fusarium oxysporum solani
(Apablaza, 2000; Agrios, 2001; Latorre, 2004; Mohamed et al, 2006). Trichoderma can
be both a direct and indirect biocontrol for phytopathogens where in the indirect approach
it competes for space and nutrients, through the secretion of antibiotic volatiles and/or
diffusible metabolites, which modify soil conditions promoting growth and plant defense
mechanisms while for the direct approach, it acts as a mycoparasite (Howell,
2003; Bentez et al. 2004)
Trichoderma harzianum used as biocontrol agents can act: a) colonizing the soil
and/or parts of the plant, occupying a physical space and avoiding the multiplication of
the pathogens; b) producing cell wall degrading enzymes against the pathogens; c)

producing antibiotics that can kill the pathogens; d) promoting the plant development and
e) inducing the defensive mechanisms of the plant (Saba et al., 2012).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Biological control agents such as Trichiderma harzianum are perceived to have
specific advantages over synthetic fungicides, including fewer non-target and
environmental effects, efficacy against fungicide-resistant pathogens and reduced
probability of resistance development (Harman 2000; Tsror et al. 2001).
The fungus Trichoderma harzianum, is an inexpensive biocontrol agent that can
establish itself in is very adaptive to different pathosystems, has moderate effects on soil
balance and does not harm beneficial organisms that contribute towards pathogens
control (Saba et al., 2012). According to Saba et al. (2012), this biocontrol agent has no
harmful effects on humans, wild life and other beneficial organisms. It is safe and effective
in both natural and controlled environments that does not accumulate in the food chain.

Trichoderma harzianum Mutants

A study conducted by Mohamed and Haggag (2006) showed that two stable salttolerant mutants (Th50M6 and Th50M11, also termed as Tolerant T. harzianum mutant)
can be induced by gamma irradiating a wild-type culture of Trichoderma harzianum. In
their methodology, it was stated that PDA slants containing 14-day-old sporulated T.
harzianumcultures were exposed to two dosages of g-radiation (200 Gy for 75 min and
500 Gy by the dose rate 4.32 and 0.09 rad/sec, respectively). The mutants produced
showed to have ceeded their parent strain under saline conditions in terms of growth rate,
sporulation and biological proficiency against the causal agent of tomato wilt disease,
Fusarium oxysporum solani.
In the study of Patil & Lunge(2012), to obtain mutants of Trichoderma harzianum
with increased chitinase activity and biocontrol effectiveness, plates of wild Trichoderma
harzianum without lids containing spore in normal saline (0.9%) of 106 spore/ml
concentration suspension was exposed to UV light ( = 254 nm). The 10ml of spore
suspension was exposed to UV light for different time interval of 2 min, 4 min, 6 min and
8 min. The distance between spore suspension and UV source was adjusted to 15 cm.

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De Freitas Lima, A., Ferreira de Moura, G., Barbosa de Lima, M., Mendes de Souza, P.,
Alves da Silva, C., De Campos Takaki, G., & Do Nascimento, A. (2011). Role of the
Morphology and Polyphosphate in Trichoderma harzianum Related to Cadmium Removal.
Molecules, 16(12), 2486-2500. doi:10.3390/molecules16032486

Do Vale, L. H. F., Gmez-Mendoza, D. P., Kim, M.-S., Pandey, A., Ricart, C. A. O.,
Edivaldo, X. F. F. and Sousa, M. V. (2012), Secretome analysis of the
fungus Trichoderma harzianum grown on cellulose. Proteomics, 12: 27162728.
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research on Trichoderma harzianum T-22, Plant Disease 84, 377393.

HOWELL, C. Mechanisms employed by Trichoderma species in the biological control of

plant diseases: the history and evolutions of current concepts. Plant Disease, January
2003, vol. 87, no. 1, p. 4-10.
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Bioremediationprospects for the future

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Mohsenzadeh, F., & Shahrokhi, F. (2014). Biological removing of Cadmium from

contaminated media by fungal biomass of Trichoderma species. Journal Of
Environmental Health Science And Engineering, 12(1), 102. doi:10.1186/2052-336x-12102
Mohamed, Hassan Abdel-Latif A., & Haggag, Wafaa Mohamed. (2006). Biocontrol
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Mutagenesis For Enhancing Its Biocontrol Potential Against Aflotoxigenic Aspergillus
Species. International Journal of Science and Technology. Vol. 4(2), 228-242.

Saba, H., Vibhash, D., Manisha, M., Prashant, K., Farhan, H., & Tauseef, A. (2012).
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Tsror L, Barak R & Sneh B (2001) Biological control of black scurf on potato under organic
management, Crop Protection, 20(2), 145-150.