Nat Rev Microbiol 9(10) , 749-59 (Oct 2011)
Trichoderma is a genus of common filamentous fungi that display a remarkable range of lifestyles and interactions with other fungi, animals and plants. Because of their ability to antagonize plant-pathogenic fungi and to stimulate plant growth and defence responses, some Trichoderma strains are used for biological control of plant diseases. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in molecular ecology and genomics which indicate that the interactions of Trichoderma spp. with animals and plants may have evolved as a result of saprotrophy on fungal biomass (mycotrophy) and various forms of parasitism on other fungi (mycoparasitism), combined with broad environmental opportunism.