Trichoderma

By: - Updated: August 29, 2018

Trichoderma is a common fungus typically found in soil, litter and wood. Indoors, it can be found on a variety of materials, particularly those with a high cellulose content such as paper, fabrics and tapestries.

Trichoderma colonies are typically white in colour with blue-green tufts and a wool-like texture. Most species have a rapid growth rate.

In general, Trichoderma species are considered non-pathogenic to humans, although there have been some reports of infection in individuals with compromised immune systems.

Who discovered Trichoderma?

The first discovery of the Trichoderma genus dates back to 1794 by a scientist from Germany known as Christiaan H. Persoon. During his research, he added four other species which later became a setback as he could barely recognize the initial genus.

In the years that followed, many other people carried on the research and continued looking into the genus of Trichoderma. This happened in different years between 1865 and 1969.

The different researchers that took up this challenge included: – The Tulasue brothers (1865), Abbott (1927), Bisby (1939) and lastly Rifai (1969). Rifai did a thesis paper which he later was to publish in 1969. It was his work that was embraced the longest as it held much authenticity on Trichoderma. This went on for more than 15 years.

What are known Trichoderma species?

Trichoderma can be classified in a group or sub-family of fungi that can be found mostly in soils; all types of soils worldwide. It is a type of fungi that divides itself most rapidly and thus cultivable.

Other than that, Trichoderma species can also be found in trees, leaves, and branches that have decayed, decaying junk or waste and roots that are colonizing. They are also generally found in plants in different climatic areas.

It was believed that the Trichoderma fungi were unvaried until other species, 9 in number were discovered in 1969 by Rifai as earlier stated.

Today, there are 89 more species of Trichoderma that are accepted. During a most recent research in 2007, the Trichoderma genus has been named an asexual stage.

Trichoderma scientific classifications

The scientific classifications are as follows:-

  • Kingdom – Fungi
  • Phylum – Ascomycota
  • Sub-division – Deuteromycotina
  • Class – Hyphomyctes
  • Order – Monolliales
  • Family – Monolliaceae
  • Genus – Trichoderma

There are four major categories of the Trichoderma species. They are:

  • Trichoderma-harzianum: This is the most known type of this species and it is also useful in that it is used as a biocontrol.
  • Trichoderma-viride: For the longest time, this particular species was known as a disease in mushrooms called the green mold disease.
  • Trichoderma-longibrachiatum: This variety of species is the black mold that is found in window filters, air conditioners, carpets, bathrooms, kitchens, just to mention a few.
  • Trichoderma-Reese: This particular species produces antibiotics that plants can use and consequently ward off pathogens attacking them.

The Trichoderma genus can further be divided into different species which are more than 80. The following are just a few:

  • Trichoderma-aggressivum
  • Trichoderma-spongyi
  • Trichoderma-viride
  • Trichoderma-ovalisporum
  • Trichoderma-reese
  • Trichoderma-erinaceum
  • Trichoderma-koningii
  • Trichoderma-harzianum
  • Trichoderma-stromaticum
  • Trichoderma-crassum
  • Trichoderma-ghanense

Trichoderma is also used in biotechnology and also as a biocontrol agent especially in agricultural crops to boost crop production. Owing to the fact that crop production is essential globally to reduce drought and starvation cases, Trichoderma comes in handy as a bio-fungicide to curb plant pathogen.

What is Trichoderma mold?

The Trichoderma mold also has species within it that can be both dangerous and useful or very beneficial to humans. One of its greatest advantages is the fact that it kills other fungi so as to eliminate any form of competition and thus is useful to the plants colonized by it.

It also goes on to say that because of its great benefits, it is added by some farmers to their farms or gardens before planting. Some big industries have also adopted it because mold Penicillium can be used to produce antibiotic-penicillin.

Trichoderma mold in the house

In homes or rather households, Trichoderma is an unwanted guest because of its damages and immune weakening agents. Ity can be found in the following places in the house and around the house: – in the soil as mentioned above, carpets, wallpapers, woods, areas that experience high moisture contents e.g. kitchens, the laundry rooms, and even the bathrooms. Those are just a few areas in the house that Trichoderma mold can be found. There are many other areas in the house that this mold can also be found.

What are Trichoderma mold health effects?

The sickness that follows the inhalation of these spores includes but are not limited to: sneezing, asthmatic attacks, prolonged coughs, infections of the lungs like pneumonia.

The damages that the Trichoderma mold can cause do not end there. The damages caused to different wooden equipment and furniture in the house is also very profound and intense.

The Trichoderma molds on these wooden surfaces and equipment cause them to rot and thus will start weakening and eventually fall apart.

This usually happens in such a short time leading to hefty losses. When this Trichoderma mold contaminates an air conditioner, you can be almost certain that it will spread all over the house thus posing an even greater risk.

Is Trichoderma mold toxic?

Looking at the negative side of Trichoderma, one of its species called Trichoderma longibrachiatum is very harmful and toxic to human beings.

This is so as it produces peptides that are toxic called trilongins that are uncommonly found in protein amino acids. This consequently greatly weakens the body immune system of an individual.

Trichoderma mold removal

So how do you remove or deal with the Trichoderma mold? Any mold discovered in any household should not be ignored or handled casually. It should be handled with great promptness and keenness.

There are many recommended experts in the market who have great experiences in mold removal. Apart from getting rid of the molds giving you sleepless nights in your household, they can also give great advice on how you can avoid these Trichoderma molds in future.

This does not mean that you cannot remove or clean out these molds from your home yourself. As long as you have protected yourself accordingly, you can get rid of this mold. Just take extra caution so that you don’t spread the mold to other areas in the house and thereby causing more harm than good.

How to fight Trichoderma?

Fighting Trichoderma mold is not the easiest task but we all know that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It is therefore imperative to have the mold gotten rid of immediately you spot it.

You can then further investigate why the mold occurred in that particular spot. Is the place dump or full of moisture? After that look further into the extent of the mold damage and then do an assessment of how it will be handled. You can consider the involvement of a mold removal professionals like Mold Busters, who will properly remove the molds.