Technology Flash Talk: Trichoderma for soil health


Horticulture Technologies Poised for Uptake

Trichoderma for soil health

Rangaswamy Muniappan presented this technology flash talk about Trichoderma for soil health during the Horticulture Research for Development Conference, "Colorful Harvest: From Feeding to Nourishing a Growing World," held March 26-27, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Muniappan is the director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech

Trichoderma spp. are an avirulent plant symbiont that occurs in all agricultural soils. T. harzianum, T. viride and T. hamatum are common species used in biological control. It is highly competitive and displays antagonism against other pathogenic fungi. Trichoderma colonizes plant root systems and protects them against soil-borne pathogens. It decomposes organic material in which it grows. Trichoderma is a plant growth promoter, which solubilizes and sequestrates inorganic nutrients. It releases compounds which activate plant defense mechanisms and has been successfully cultured for use as a biofungicide.

The IPM Innovation Lab team has worked with local organization for Trichoderma production in India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Cambodia. They have conducted six workshops and trained over 200 people from Africa, Asia, and Central America in the production of Trichoderma. In the Philippines, the IPM Innovation Lab found that onions fields treated with Trichoderma earned $1,277 more per hectare than untreated onion fields.