Trichoderma-plant-pathogen interactions

F. Vinale, Krishnapillai Sivasithamparam, Emilio Ghisalberti, R. Marra, S.L. Woo, M. Lorito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

859 Citations (Scopus)


Biological control involves the use of beneficial organisms, their genes, and/or products, such as metabolites, that reduce the negative effects of plant pathogens and promote positive responses by the plant. Disease suppression, as mediated by biocontrol agents, is the consequence of the interactions between the plant, pathogens, and the microbial community. Antagonists belonging to the genus Trichoderma are among the most commonly isolated soil fungi. Due to their ability to protect plants and contain pathogen populations under different soil conditions, these fungi have been widely studied and commercially marketed as biopesticides, biofertilizers and soil amendments. Trichoderma spp. also produce numerous biologically active compounds, including cell wall degrading enzymes, and secondary metabolites. Studies of the three-way relationship established with Trichoderma, the plant and the pathogen are aimed at unravelling the mechanisms involved in partner recognition and the cross-talk used to maintain the beneficial association between the fungal antagonist and the plant. Several strategies have been used to identify the molecular factors involved in this complex tripartite interaction including genomics, proteomics and, more recently, metabolomics, in order to enhance our understanding. This review presents recent advances and findings regarding the biocontrol-resulting events that take place during the Trichoderma-plant-pathogen interaction. We focus our attention on the biological aspects of this topic, highlighting the novel findings concerning the role of Trichoderma in disease suppression. A better understanding of these factors is expected to enhance not only the rapid identification of effective strains and their applications but also indicate the potentials for improvement of natural strains of Trichoderma. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalSoil Biology & Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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