We have used isolates of Trichoderma spp. collected in South-East Asia, including Taiwan and Western Indonesia, to assess the genetic and metabolic diversity of endemic species of Trichoderma. Ninety-six strains were isolated in total, and identified at the species level by analysis of morphological and biochemical characters (Biolog system), and by sequence analysis of their internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2 (ITS1 and 2) of the rDNA cluster, using ex-type strains and taxonomically established isolates of Trichoderma as reference. Seventy-eight isolates were positively identified as Trichoderma harzianum/Trichoderma inhamatum (37 strains) Trichoderma virens (16 strains), Trichoderma spirale (8 strains), Trichoderma koningii (3 strains), Trichoderma atroviride (3 strains), Trichoderma asperellum (4 strains), Hypocrea jecorina (anamorph: Trichoderma reesei; 2 strains), Trichoderma viride (2 strains), Trichoderma hamatum (1 strain), and Trichoderma ghanense (1 strain). Analysis of biochemical characters revealed that T. virens, T. spirale, T. asperellum, T. koningii, H. jecorina, and T. ghanense formed clearly defined clusters, thus exhibiting species-specific metabolic properties. In biochemical character analysis T. atroviride and T. viride formed partially overlapping clusters, indicating that these two species may share overlapping metabolic characteristics. This behavior was even more striking with T. harzianum/T. inhamatum where genotypes defined on the basis of ITS1 and 2 sequences overlapped significantly with adjacent genotypes in the biochemical character analysis, and four strains from the same location (Bali, Indonesia) even clustered with species from section Longibrachiatum. The data indicate that the T. harzianum/T. inhamatum group represents species with high metabolic diversity and partially unique metabolic characteristics. Nineteen strains yielded three different ITS1/2 sequence types which were not alignable with any known species. They were also uniquely characterized by morphological and biochemical characters and therefore represent three new taxa of Trichoderma.
- Molecular phylogeny
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