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Growth stimulation in bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) by Trichoderma

Hoyos-Carvajal, Liliana, Orduz, Sergio, Bissett, John
Biological control 2009 v.51 no.3 pp. 409-416
Phaseolus vulgaris, beans, field crops, Trichoderma, biological control agents, plant growth, plant growth control, seedlings, metabolites, rhizosphere, endophytes, strain differences, phosphates, siderophores, iron, chelating agents, indole acetic acid, auxins, roots, length, aerial parts, Colombia
Trichoderma species are commonly used as biological control agents against phytopathogenic fungi and some strains are able to produce metabolites that enhance plant growth. In the current study we evaluated the production of potential growth-promoting metabolites, rhizosphere competence and endophytism for 101 isolates of Trichoderma from Colombia, and assessed the relationship of these factors to the enhancement of early stages of growth on bean seedlings. Twenty percent of these Trichoderma strains were able to produce soluble forms of phosphate from phosphoric rock. Only 8% of the assessed strains showed consistent ability to produce siderophores to convert ferric iron to soluble forms by chelation. Sixty percent of isolates produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) or auxin analogues. The production of any of these metabolites was a characteristic of specific strains, as the ability to produce these metabolites varied greatly within species. Moreover, the production of these substances did not correlate with enhanced growth on bean seedlings, measured as the combined increase in length of roots and aerial parts in the V3 stage of growth. Seven Trichoderma isolates significantly improved the growth of bean seedlings. However, metabolite production varied widely in these seven strains, and some isolates did not produce any of the assessed growth-promoting metabolites. Results indicated that growth was enhanced in the presence of rhizosphere competent and endophytic strains of Trichoderma, and these characteristics were strain-specific and not characteristic for species.