Not all Trichoderma products are the same

Trichoderma asperellum strain kd, is a naturally occurring beneficial fungus and the active ingredient in Madumbi’s Eco-T® and Eco-T® Ezi-Flo BioManagement products.

With several different Trichoderma products currently available to growers, it’s important to understand that not all Trichoderma products are the same.

Below are a few important aspects to consider when choosing such products:

  1. Has it been through a thorough screening process to ensure that it is the best possible isolate. In most cases the isolate, and the screening process used to find the isolate, is far more important than the species used. It is largely erroneous to claim that one species of Trichoderma is more effective than another. A large percentage of Trichoderma isolates exist as saprophytes in the rhizosphere without providing any significant direct benefits to the ‘host’ plant. Some may stimulate root growth but are poor at controlling root pathogens and vice versa. It is only through intensive screening that companies can come up with highly effective isolates which provide a full range of benefits to crops.
  2. Does the isolate have good rhizosphere competence? This refers to the ability of a given isolate to compete with other naturally occurring microbes in the rhizosphere while also withstanding a wide range of environmental stresses (pH, temperature, salinity, moisture levels etc.). An isolate with good competence will be better able to get established, persist and do its job in a given environment. This means that products should be well researched and the effects of different environmental factors should be well understood.
  3. Is it registered, and does the registration claim match the intended use? Products registered as biostimulants or bio-fertilizers can generally be applied at much lower rates (spores/ha) and as such should cost significantly less than products which can also provide significant control of soilborne fungal pathogens.
  4. Spore count/concentration– The concentration of the active ingredient is usually expressed as spores/g. One needs to make sure when comparing products that one is comparing like with like. This means looking at the concentration multiplied by the application rate and looking at how many spores one is applying per ha.
  5. Spore viability– The above point is further complicated when one takes spore quality or viability into account. It is useful to use the analogy of seed as spores are the ‘seeds’ of the fungal world. If one compares 2 packets of maize seed for example. Both packets may contain 50kg of seed. They may even contain approximately the same number of seeds. However, if one packet of seed only has a germination percentage of 50% it will be far less effective than the same size bag of seed with 95% germination. Spores are the same. Just because a supplier states there are a certain number of spores/gram, it does not mean that all these spores are viable and will germinate and grow. Small changes in production processes can have significant effects on spore quality.

Eco-T® is a key product in the basket of Madumbi’s biological solutions

Uniquely registered with two different purposes, Eco-T® falls into both Madumbi’s Crop Protection and Root Health programs.

Eco-T® contains active spores of the naturally occurring beneficial fungus, Trichoderma asperellum.

Eco-T® is registered as a biocontrol agent for the control of common soil diseases including Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Pythium and Phytophthora, which impact on crop production in a wide range of orchard, vegetable and floricultural crops.

Eco-T® also promotes the growth of healthy root systems. The fungus grows symbiotically with roots, improving nutrient uptake and enhancing root development.

Eco-T® contains Trichoderma asperellum. Reg. No. L6938, Reg No. 36 of 1947. Plant Health Products (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 207, Nottingham Road, 3280. Reg. No. 2003/007987/07.