Managing Plant Diseases and Promoting Sustainability and Productivity with Trichoderma: The Philippine Experience

C Cumagun
2012 J. Agr. Sci. Tech   unpublished
Trichoderma is a genus of asexually reproducing fungi that is present in all types of soils. Trichoderma species have been recognized as antagonists of soil-borne and foliage pathogens and as efficient decomposers of cellulosic waste materials. Moreover, they have the ability to increase plant growth and induce plant resistance. Along with mycoparasitism, antibiotics and competition, induced resistance is one of the most important mechanisms of Trichoderma action against fungal plant pathogens.
more » ... Strategies to enhance biocontrol ability of Trichoderma include use of composts, UV irradiation and gene expression studies as applied to genetic engineering. Of over 50 research projects on Trichoderma in the Philippines as reported in this review, only less than 10% have been published at full length in scientific journals. Trichoderma have been often used in the control of rice and solanaceous crops and vegetables. Most projects have been conducted both in vitro and in vivo including the laboratory and greenhouse but rarely in the field. Most strains reported were not identified up to the species level especially by molecular techniques, an essential requirement for product commercialization. Of the several strains of Trichoderma that have been isolated and screened for biocontrol of plant diseases in the Philippines, only one strain has reached product commercialization. This, however, has led to a promising technology to improve management of vegetable diseases and increase farmers' income. The continuity in sustaining these programs is vital in maintaining sustainability and productivity of agricultural crops with Trichoderma.