In Search of Soil podcast

Benefits of Trichoderma with Dr. Gary Harman - ISOS S2 #5

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In this episode of In Search of Soil, we have Dr. Gary Harman of Cornell University on the show to talk about what Trichoderma is, what it does to the soil and all the benefits that it brings to plants and crops.

Dr. Gary Harman is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, School of Integrative Plant Science. His fields of specialization include biological control systems, plant-microbe interactions, and fungal genetics. With more than forty years’ worth of research under his belt, he has published more than 150 on these topics, most notably on agriculturally beneficial Trichoderma species.

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In this episode of In Search of Soil

  • Diego introduces the episode and the guest, Dr. Gary Harman (00:22)
  • What is trichoderma? (01:18)
  • The interest in trichoderma for agricultural purposes (02:26)
  • Wild-type species of trichoderma and strain-specific agricultural benefits (05:15)
  • The role of trichoderma in the soil microbiome (06:15)
  • Beneficial trichoderma species naturally occurring in agricultural soils (08:58)
  • The dominance of trichoderma over disease-causing fungi (10:18)
  • Trichoderma induced plants to control disease (12:40)
    • Trichoderma helps plants suppress diseases (14:05)
  • Having the pathogens stick around vs. killing them off (14:58)
  • Gene priming and upstream regulation of RNA (16:00)
  • Trichoderma feedback from plants (17:17)
  • No evolutionary feedback with the trichoderma (20:45)
  • How effective is trichoderma in increasing plant resistance to known plant diseases? (22:13)
  • The difference between disease resistance as a trait vs. disease resistance through gene priming from trichoderma (23:08)
  • When a farmer doesn’t want to add trichoderma but wants to encourage the microbiome already in their soil (24:42)
  • Externally adding trichoderma to soils (27:07)
  • How vast can trichoderma grow to? (29:51)
  • Increased root growth with trichoderma (30:45)
  • Mineral nutrition and trichoderma (32:13)
  • Our current understanding of plant-microbe interactions (34:38)
  • Trichoderma are not mycorrhiza (35:46)
  • Why trichoderma can be cultured outside a host (37:08)
  • Adding trichoderma at the seed level (38:12)
  • Biologicals: inconsistent at best, snake oil at worst (41:34)
  • Applying trichoderma if you’re a small-acreage grower (43:58)
  • Applying trichoderma on the leaves of a grown plant (48:45)
  • Does trichoderma have any effect on pests? (51:36)
  • Are live roots the only things trichoderma needs? (54:37)
  • Cherry picking results for marketing purposes (55:38)
  • More robust root system and an affected aboveground growth (57:45)
  • How trichoderma in the wild reproduce (59:45)
  • Korean natural farming and wild harvesting molds (01:02:13)
  • Which trichoderma to get (01:04:06)
  • Antibiotic material from trichoderma (01:06:03)
  • A trichoderma will do what a trichoderma will do (in terms of disease resistance) (01:08:35)
  • What’ll happen if there were a sudden 100% increase of trichoderma use (01:10:32)
  • Will mycorrhizae ever be commercialized? (01:11:45)
  • No negative repercussions with trichoderma (01:14:35)
  • Why do plants need trichoderma to become more disease resistant? (01:15:58)
  • The possibility of having a locally-adapted strain of trichoderma (01:19:50)
  • Keep up-to-date with Dr. Gary Harman’s work (01:22:35)

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