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Green Mold Diseases of Agaricus and Pleurotus spp. Are Caused by Related but Phylogenetically Different Trichoderma Species

April 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  4
Pages  532 - 537

L. Hatvani , Z. Antal , L. Manczinger , A. Szekeres , I. S. Druzhinina , C. P. Kubicek , A. Nagy , E. Nagy , C. Vágvölgyi , and L. Kredics

First, third, fourth, and ninth authors: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged, Közép fasor 52, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary; second, eighth, and tenth authors: Microbiological Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Szeged, Közép fasor 52, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary; fifth and sixth authors: Research Area Gene Technology and Applied Biochemistry, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Getreidemarkt 9/166.5, A-1060 Vienna, Austria; and seventh author: Pilze-Nagy Ltd., P.O. Box 407, H-6001 Kecskemét, Hungary

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Accepted for publication 18 October 2006.

Producers of champignon (Agaricus bisporus) and oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) are facing recent incidents of green mold epidemics in Hungary. We examined 66 Trichoderma strains isolated from Agaricus compost and Pleurotus substrate samples from three Hungarian mushroom producing companies by a polymerase chain reaction-based diagnostic test for T. aggressivum, sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1) and ITS2 and (selectively) of the fourth and fifth intron of translation elongation factor 1α (tef1α), and restriction fragment length polymorphism of mitochondrial DNA. Seven Trichoderma species were identified: T. aggressivum f. europaeum (17 isolates), T. harzianum (three isolates), T. longibrachiatum (four isolates), T. ghanense (one isolate), T. asperellum (four isolates), T. atroviride (nine isolates), and a still undescribed phylogenetic species, Trichoderma sp. DAOM 175924 (28 isolates). T. aggressivum f. europaeum was exclusively derived from A. bisporus compost, whereas Trichoderma sp. DAOM 175924 exclusively occurred in the substrate for Pleurotus cultivation. Sequences of the latter strains were co-specific with those for Trichoderma pathogens of P. ostreatus in Korea. The widespread occurrence of this new species raises questions as to why infections by it have just only recently been observed. Our data document that (i) green mold disease by T. aggressivum f. europaeum has geographically expanded to Central Europe; (ii) the green mold disease of P. ostreatus in Hungary is due to the same Trichoderma species as in Korea and the worldwide distribution of the new species indicates the possibility of spreading epidemics; and (iii) on mushroom farms, the two species are specialized on their different substrates.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society