Several Trichoderma strains have been reported to be effective in controlling plant diseases, and the action of fungal hydrolytic enzymes is considered as the main mechanism involved in the antagonistic process. Strain Trichoderma harzianum T334 is a potential biocontrol agent against plant pathogenic fungi with the ability to produce low levels of proteases constitutively. To improve its fungal antagonistic capacity, mutagenetic program was undertaken for the construction of protease overproducing derivates. The mutant strains were obtained by means of UV-irradiation and were selected for p-fluorophenyl-alanine resistance or altered colony morphology. It was revealed by means of specific chromogenic protease substrates that both trypsin-like and chymotrypsin-like protease secretion was elevated in most of the mutant strains. The profiles of isoenzymes were different between the mutants and the wild-type strain, when examined by gel filtration chromatography. Certain mutants proved to be better antagonists against plant pathogens in in vitro antagonism experiments. This study suggests the possibility of using mutants with improved constitutive extracellular protease secretion against plant pathogenic fungi.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology