Volume 19 Part 1 Article 13: Identifying Trichoderma aggressivum within the European mushroom industry

Volume 19 Part 1 Article 13
Year 2016
Title: Identifying Trichoderma aggressivum within the European mushroom industry
Author: Caoimhe Fleming-Archibald, Mairéad Kilpatrick, Angela Ruggiero and Helen Grogan

As part of an EU FP7 funded research project ‘MushTV’, work was conducted to identify locations on compost facilities and mushroom growing facilities across Europe where infective material of Trichoderma aggressivum might be detected. Five phase 3 compost facilities and four growers were surveyed and any Trichoderma isolates detected were isolated and identified using microbiological and molecular methods. Compost samples were taken from compost facilities and swab samples were taken at grower facilities. A case study was also carried out on an experimental growing unit where experimental crops, artificially infected with T. aggressivum, were grown. The experimental unit was surveyed throughout the course of the trial to track the presence of T. aggressivum on the facility.

No T. aggressivum was identified at the Phase 3 compost facilities during the course of the work but occasionally other Trichoderma spp. were detected. All growing facilities included in the survey were experiencing, or had recently experienced issues with Trichoderma green mould. T. aggressivum was detected on three of the four growing facilities while a different Trichoderma species was detected on the fourth site. The case study on the experimental growing unit detected T. aggressivum at many locations when trials with T. aggressivum-inoculated crops were in progress, despite the adoption of a high level of attention to hygiene. Once this information was known, and an even more stringent and targeted hygiene regime was put in place, the level of T. aggressivum detected decreased. The conclusion from this work is that Trichoderma, if present in a crop, is easily transmitted from an infected crop to diverse locations on the facility, even when there is a high level of attention to hygiene. However, effective steam cook-out and thorough cleaning and disinfection can eliminate T. aggressivum from the facility.

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