Fungal species belonging to the genera Clonostachys has been shown to be efficient antagonists against a range of plant pathogens, presumably due to their mycoparasitic lifestyle.
C. rosea protect plants from fungal diseases
In the mid 1990ies C. rosea strain IK726 was identified as a potential biocontrol agent against Fusarium disease on wheat and barley in a Danish program, starting with greenhouse experiments that were followed up with small field plots and large field experiments. Strain IK726 has been shown to be an efficient biocontrol agent under field conditions against a variety of plant diseases on agricultural crops, including diseases caused by Fusarium, Pythium, Botrytis, Alternaria, Tilletia and Bipolaris pathogens.
Investigating a three-way interaction
Our research is focused on understanding interaction mechanisms in the three-way interaction between C. rosea, fungal pathogens and host plants. We apply next-generation sequencing technology to sequence the genome and several transcriptomes of C. rosea strain IK726, as well as genetic transformation technology and comparative studies with Trichoderma biocontrol agents.
The Clonostachys rosea genome is now published in Genome Biology and Evolution and is available here.