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Trichoderma sp.

Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes. Teleomorph (sexual state): Hypocrea (Ascomycete).


Approx. 20 species.
Found in northern alpine to tropical areas.

Where Found

Soil, decaying wood, grains, citrus fruit, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, paper, textiles, damp wood.

Mode of Dissemination

Wet spore.
Rain, insects, water splash, and wind when dried out.


Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

Human infections include a pulmonary cavity, peritonitis in a dialysis patient, and a perihepatic infection in a liver transplant patient. Considered an emerging opportunist in immunocompromised persons.

Potential Toxin Production

Trichothecene and cyclic peptides; gliotoxin, isocyanides, T-2 toxin, trichodermin. Trichoderma may cause a mycotoxicosis similar to that caused by Stachybotrys chartarum; some of the metabolic substances produced are closely related to trichothecenes.

Growth Indoors

Found on paper, tapestry, wood, in kitchens on the outer surface of unglazed ceramics and on a variety of other substrates. Strongly cellulolytic.

Industrial Uses

Trichoderma harzianum pellets have been mixed with ground bark to protect trees and vegetable crops against infections from other plant pathogens. T. viride produces cellulase and hemicellulase used in commercial beer, wine and food processing. It enhances the aroma in tea and mushroom products.

Other Comments

T. harzianum has been reported to produce antifungal trichoriazines compounds.

Used with permission from EMLab P&K

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