Science into practice management of Trichoderma compost mould

Aggressive forms of Trichoderma compost mould (Trichoderma aggressivum) can cause yield losses (in excess of 50 per cent) by causing bare areas and cap spotting.

This has a financial impact on the mushroom industry. To manage Trichoderma, growers must have rigorous hygiene measures and use early detection methods.

The fungus Trichoderma comprises numerous species. In the mid 1980s, Trichoderma (green) compost mould and cap spotting was thought to be caused by T. harzianum, leading to between 30 and 100 per cent of losses. However, several studies have shown that there are four biotypes of Trichoderma, some of which are present in the UK and some of which are economically damaging.

The aim of M 48 was to develop and evaluate real-time PCR primers and probes for identification of T. harzianum and T. aggressivum (Th2/Th4) and evaluate for screening Phase III compost.

This HDC-funded project has successfully developed extraction methods for Trichoderma DNA directly from Phase III compost, which has now provided growers with the first rapid, cost-effective commercial service for compost producers and growers to screen their growing media.

Visit the HDC website for more information on:
M 48 - Final Report.
HDC/FSA Keeping it Clean web tools.
EMT/HDC and HTA fellowship awards.
Dates for your diary
15 December 2010 - HDC tree fruit panel meeting.
13 January 2011 - HDC bulb and outdoor flower panel meeting.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activities, visit

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