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Importation of biocontrol fungi
March 2000. The problems concerned with transferring biological control fungi and bacteria from one country to another was highlighted by a colleague in Palau requesting permission to bring in Azotobacter (a genus of free-living bacteria that converts atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium, making it available for plant use) and Trichoderma (a fungus often strongly antagonistic to other fungi).
Responses on PestNet were not in favour of the idea for a number of reasons:
- composts can be made relatively easily with materials that are locally available in most countries, and importing a compost activator would be of no particular benefit;
- there would be need for a reliable testing/screening protocol to ensure the material is free of exotic disease-causing organisms; and this could be costly;
- care should be taken that the Trichoderma sp. introduced is not a potential pathogen to human beings;
- introduced Trichoderma may not have the desired effect as it may not compete well against local strains. It is best to culture those already present.
A number of strains of Trichoderma have been isolated in Indonesia for the following diseases:
Trichoderma sp. against Brown root fungus, Phellimus noxius
Trichoderma sp. against Black root fungus, Rosellinia bunodes
Trichoderma sp. against White root fungus, Rigidoporus lignosus
Trichoderma koningii against White root fungus Rigidoporus lignosus
Trichoderma harzianum against Stem rot fungus, Fusarium sp.
Trichoderma viridis against Foot rot fungus Phytopthora capsici
Trichoderma sp. against White root fungus Rigodoporus lignosus