The Web of Life (82-5) Trichoderma


Trichoderma are a filamentous fungus with a diversity of lifestyles. But all are sociable with other fungi, plants, and animals.

Trichoderma are ubiquitous opportunists: they are everywhere in the soil, and the life they choose depends on external conditions. These mold fungi can grow inside of plants, on roots, on the bark of a tree, or even on top of other fungi.

Trichoderma have a sweet tooth. Sugar is their steady diet. But trichoderma are not sweeties. They carry an arsenal of chemical weaponry that comes DNA-encoded.

To serve their self-interest, Trichoderma can attack other fungi or bacteria with powerful toxins. For this reason – their ability to antagonize plant pathogens and promote plant growth – Trichoderma are valued plant symbionts.