Mitosporic fungus. Hyphomycetes. Teleomorph (sexual state): Hypocrea (Ascomycete).
Approx. 20 species.
Found in northern alpine to tropical areas.
Soil, decaying wood, grains, citrus fruit, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, paper, textiles, damp wood.
Rain, insects, water splash, and wind when dried out.
Found on paper, tapestry, wood, in kitchens on the outer surface of unglazed ceramics and on a variety of other substrates. Strongly cellulolytic.
Trichoderma harzianum pellets have been mixed with ground bark to protect trees and vegetable crops against infections from other plant pathogens. T. viride produces cellulase and hemicellulase used in commercial beer, wine and food processing. It enhances the aroma in tea and mushroom products.
T. harzianum has been reported to produce antifungal trichoriazines compounds.
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Human infections include a pulmonary cavity, peritonitis in a dialysis patient, and a perihepatic infection in a liver transplant patient. Considered an emerging opportunist in immunocompromised persons.
Trichothecene and cyclic peptides; gliotoxin, isocyanides, T-2 toxin, trichodermin. Trichoderma may cause a mycotoxicosis similar to that caused by Stachybotrys chartarum; some of the metabolic substances produced are closely related to trichothecenes.
Grows well on general fungal media; spreads in a white floccose mat, developing blue-green to yellow-green tufts of spores. T. viride has a distinctive coconut odor (ketone metabolite).
Conidia size and shape are similar to Penicillium and Aspergillus but Trichoderma forms sticky clumps of conidia with a distinctive green pigment rather than in chains. Typical green spore clumps are identified as Trichoderma.
Distinctive; readily identifiable on tape lifts.