Rush, T. A. et al., 2021. Frontiers in Fungal Biology

Bioprospecting Trichoderma: A systematic roadmap to screen genomes and natural products for biocontrol applications

Tomás A. Rush, Him K. Shrestha, Murali Gopalakrishnan Meena, Margaret K. Spangler, J. Christopher Ellis, Jesse Labbé, and Paul E. Abraham
16 September 2021, Frontiers in Fungal Biology 2:716511;


Natural products derived from microbes are crucial innovations that would help in reaching sustainability development goals worldwide while achieving bioeconomic growth. Trichoderma species are well-studied model fungal organisms used for their biocontrol properties with great potential to alleviate the use of agrochemicals in agriculture. However, identifying and characterizing effective natural products in novel species or strains as biological control products remains a meticulous process with many known challenges to be navigated. Integration of recent advancements in various “omics” technologies, next generation biodesign, machine learning, and artificial intelligence approaches could greatly advance bioprospecting goals. Herein, we propose a roadmap for assessing the potential impact of already known or newly discovered Trichoderma species for biocontrol applications. By screening publicly available Trichoderma genome sequences, we first highlight the prevalence of putative biosynthetic gene clusters and antimicrobial peptides among genomes as an initial step toward predicting which organisms could increase the diversity of natural products. Next, we discuss high-throughput methods for screening organisms to discover and characterize natural products and how these findings impact both fundamental and applied research fields.


Rush TA, Shrestha HK, Gopalakrishnan Meena M, Spangler MK, Ellis JC, Labbé JL and Abraham PE (2021) Bioprospecting Trichoderma: A Systematic Roadmap to Screen Genomes and Natural Products for Biocontrol Applications. Front. Fungal Biol. 2:716511.                                      doi: 10.3389/ffunb.2021.716511

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