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Spore Wars -- Revenge Of The Trich !

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#1 hyphaenation


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:04 AM

I had a question about Trich, since i've had a major outbreak in my first popcorn and rye jars. Hopefully my PF jars are Trich-free. I now have the trich outside and away, but I was wondering if I can reuse the jars (20 of them), and if so what the best way to clean them is.

I included a bit of info I found about trich.




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Trichoderma harzianum has several sub-groups one of which, Th2, causes the vast majority of greenmould outbreaks in Ireland and the UK. Very rarely Trichoderma viride can cause greenmould by contaminating spawn. Even more rarely it may attack and kill mushrooms in later flushes. Low pH casing encourages Trichoderma viride.

Trichoderma can appear at the latter end of spawn run but is most likely to appear after the casing has been applied. It is normally only apparent as a white patch on the side of the bag, this rapidly changes to a green colour. When Trichoderma occurs in the middle of the bag its presence usually indicates that contamination has been present in the compost. If the growth is at the top of most bags, this indicates contamination at breaking or from the casing agent, if using chopped compost. The mould is very attractive to red pepper mites which multiply rapidly on it and eventually come to the surface to form clusters on the casing or on the mushrooms making them unpickable. The mites may prevent the green colour (sporulation) from occurring.

The original source of Trichoderma harzianum has not been identified although Trichoderma viride has been found in soil, casing, straw, and even water. Recent research indicates that some of these spores may survive peak heating, so some Trichoderma sp.may always be present in the compost. However, Th2 is rarely found in the compost ingredients. During outbreaks the source of contamination by Th2 have been found to be as follows:
The compost production personnel or machinery, the mechanical material handlers and pallets, airborne dust from contaminated compost, spores transferred from the outside to the inside of bags by 'levelling' personnel, dust from ventilation ducts and associated radiators, mice moving between bags, flies moving from crop to crop, mites dropping from clothing, 'levelling' personnel hands or tools.

Trichoderma spores are so small that they cannot be seen using a microscope and are very easily spread as indicated above.

If there is or has been a Trichoderma infection on the farm it is important to try and prevent further contamination. The following recommendations should therefore be carried out by growers who use the bag growing system.
Bag handling:

Do not handle a delivery of bags unless wearing clothing which has just been washed or heated in a tumble drier and is thus free of Trichoderma spores and pepper mites.
Setting out the house:

Bags should not be allowed to heat up as temperatures of 27°C and above favour Trichoderma growth. They should be arranged in a mite and fly free house immediately after delivery.The smaller bags should be placed in the middle of the house with taller ones near the walls or doors as these areas tend to be cooler.
Do not 'surface spawn':

Trichoderma usually attacks spawn first and excess spawn favours growth.
Bag levels:

Level the bags through the plastic, or use plastic disposable gloves which should be changed every 50 bags. Alternatively a tamping instrument can be used to level the bags. Again disinfect this instrument regularly. Bag tops should be left loosely folded over.
Compost temperature:

During the first week maintain the compost temperature at 21-22.5°C. Sterilise the thermometer in disinfectant if moving it from bag to bag.
Compost temperature:

During the second week compost temperatures should be raised to the optimum temperature of 25°C. Bags should be open enough to let the compost 'breathe' and exchange gases.
Casing must be treated with equal care:

It should be unloaded onto a clean area that has just been sterilised with 0.4% Environ or Prophyl. Casing should not be left near contaminated bags or where they have been set. The casing trolley and implements should also be sterilised.

Compost should not be mixed through the casing as there may be Trichoderma present that is not yet visible.

Do not spill compost outside the house or dump it nearby. Do not create compost dust when emptying. This will contaminate the ventilation system and water butt.
Vermin control:

Use traps and bait to control vermin.
General Hygiene:

Attention to detail is important. Always clean door handles, don't store spawn in the mushroom fridge, don't leave compost sitting outside overnight. Pickers can contaminate the rest room and canteen areas with spores.

The watering rose head should be cleaned with fungicide prior to each watering and never be allowed to touch bags or the floor.
Disposal of bags:

Bags which are visibly infected with Trichoderma or mites should be sprayed on the surface with a sterilant such as Sudol or Jeyes fluid, then sealed and disposed of at a distant location. Care should be taken not to contaminate clothing or vehicles with spores or mites.
Careful application of these measures will have the benefit of reducing the incidence of most of the following pathogens:

Fungus of the month: Trichoderma
By: Eric Schile

The genus Trichoderma contains about 40 species. The taxonomy of this genus has been, and continues to be chaotic. One of the difficulties that exists in species level identification with this genus, is that many species are very similar microscopically and macroscopically in morphology. Trichoderma species are present in nearly all soils worldwide. Three species, T. viride, T. harzianum, and T. koningii, are usually found in indoor environments on building materials such as wallpaper, tiles, wallboard, and wood that is rich in cellulose.
Generally, Trichoderma species require relatively higher water activity than some other indoor molds such as Penicillium or Aspergillus. Like Stachybotrys, Trichoderma species produce their spores in a sticky matrix which means aerosolization of spores occurs less frequently than, for example, Penicillium. Trichoderma spores appear similar in shape and size to Penicillium and Aspergillus, but form in sticky clumps with a distinctive green pigment rather than in chains. Because of these distinctive morphological features, Trichoderma can be readily identified on tape lifts. It can also be readily identified on spore traps when clumps of spores are present. Trichoderma spores generally can disseminate through rain, insects, water splash, and wind when dried out.
Usually, Trichoderma growth on surfaces appears greenish in color and has a fuzzy appearance, similar to some Penicillim and Aspergillus species. Certain Trichoderma species can grow very quickly (i.e. 24 to 48 hours). Because of this rapid growth, Trichoderma can easily compete with other fungal colonies in culture and can overgrow the culture media before other fungi can really get started.
Some species produce distinct odors. Trichoderma viride produces a coconut odor in culture. This odor might not be unique to T. viride and other species of Trichoderma may produce a similar odor. The presence of such odor is a good indication that Trichoderma is present in a sample.
Many species of Trichoderma have been shown to be effective for controlling a wide range of plant pathogens. Their effectiveness is due to an ability to grow toward the hyphae of other fungi, coil about them, and degrade the cell walls of the target fungi. This process, called mycoparastitism, limits activity and growth of plant pathogenic fungi. The antifungal properties of this fungus have been known since the 1930s and have recently been utilized for commercial purposes. One successful application has been for Botrytis rot control on apple and strawberry crops.

From Mycotopia Glossary :

The green mold, trichoderma. It starts brilliant white and turns green quickly, usually within 2 days.if you get it there is no good fix, best just to toss it outdoors,
where sometimes it can recover. the green is mold spores, spreading everywhere.
Trichoderma is a genus of filamentous deuteromycetes. A review of the biology of the genus has been provided by Samuels (1996). Species of Trichoderma can generally be found as dominant components of the microflora in all soils including forest humus layer, agricultural and orchard soils (Roiger et al. 1991). Trichoderma harzianum is rarely reported to grow on living plants and is not associated with plant disease. However, one aggressive strain has been found that causes a significant disease of the commercial mushroom (Seaby 1998). Trichoderma harzianum has no known sexual stage and is believed to be mitotic and clonal. Colonies grow rapidly on malt agar, turning yellowish-green to dark green due to the formation of conidia.
the contam test-
[assumes birthed cakes or casings, etc.]
Place a cake under running water and rub the discolored spots with your finger. If it smears it's mold. If is does not smear or feel slimey it is discolored/bruised mycelium.
see http://archives.myco....tml?1011935022

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Cleaning up after Trich:

What is the nature of trich:

[COLOR=Blue]Other Helpful Trich Links:

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#2 kocos


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:13 AM

FOAF has had trick several times, jars are emptied outside of apartment, put in bucket with bleached water, then in the kitchen and strait into the dishwasher. Once that is done, just to be on the safe side jars are manually rinced once more. This should be more than addacuate to get completly rid of the trick contam, and safely use the jars again.

#3 hyphaenation


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:43 PM

I'm trying to figure out where the source of all the Trich is coming from in my grain jars , and ultimately the answer is probably... from me. By that I mean not paying attention to what i'm wearing, how i'm moving air around, how contamed the walls/floor/ceiling and kitchen area are. I need a total new system or regime for everything from soaking grains to how/where I cool and open the pressure cooker.

It has been humbling and a might bit dissappointing finding out that most of "those white spots" in my grain jars were actually Trich mycelium. I can see where I opened the door for the Trich and i'm trying to learn from it. Here's an interesting article about Trich.

A Mushroom Mystery

What’s Killing the Mushrooms of Pennsylvania?

In early spring, after winter-dormant
fields have been tilled and seeded,
farmers walk over their fields and
look for signs of life. They scan the
newly furrowed earth for tiny shoots of
green and give a small sigh of relief when
they find them.
Most farmers, that is.

If there’s one thing a farmer of mush-
rooms fears, it’s seeing the color green
in his or her crop beds. Mushrooms are
fungi and lack chlorophyll. Instead of
relying on the sun and photosynthesis,
they draw their nutrients from the ground
and their growing medium. Healthy
colors for the most popular commercially
grown mushrooms in the United States
are white, brown, and beige. Green spells
disease. For mycologists with the Agri-
cultural Research Service’s Systematic
Botany and Mycology Laboratory
(SBML) in Beltsville, Maryland, green
also spelled a challenge not long ago.
In the early to mid-1990s, mushroom
farmers in Pennsylvania were under
siege. Commercial production of their
crop was being seriously affected by a
green mold epidemic. According to the
National Agricultural Statistics Service,
Pennsylvania farmers grow more mush-
rooms than farmers in any other state,
and in 1995 the farmers in Chester
County—the state’s mushroom mecca—
experienced crop losses of 30 to 100

Initially, scientists identified the cul-
prit as Trichoderma harzianum, a com-
mon fungal species used commercially
in the biological control of other fungi
that induce plant diseases, including
Botrytis gray mold. It also has the poten-
tial to enhance plant growth and has been
credited with degrading pesticides in soil
and preventing mycotoxin synthesis.
But if T. harzianum were the fungus
causing the green mold epidemic, its
commercial viability would be in jeop-
ardy: It would be attacking a valuable
and popular food commodity.

Mushroom Love
Americans love mushrooms, now
more than ever. Per capita consumption
in the United States increased from
3.7 pounds in 1993 to 4.2 pounds in
2000. Sales of the 2001-2002 U.S.
mushroom crop totaled 851 million
pounds, and consumers spent $912
million on them. Mushrooms are a
good source of selenium, potassium,
and copper, and some types have sig-
nificant amounts of three B-complex
vitamins. In a fight between the com-
mercial production of mushrooms and
the commercial production of T. har-
zianum, mushrooms would win.
But the mycologists at SBML were
not so sure that the beneficial biocon-
trol fungus T. harzianum was to
blame. They looked at the green mold
problem and saw that not just one, but
four distinct T. harzianum biotypes had
been identified as the cause. And only
two of those could be associated with ap-
preciable mushroom loss.

Says Gary Samuels, an SBML
mycologist and world-renowned Tricho-
derma expert, “We suspected that the
four biotypes identified as causing the
green mold epidemic might not all be
from the same species. A few studies
suggested genetic distinctions between
them, but no one had studied the
differences closely.”That’s when the systematic expertise
of SBML researchers came into play.
Systematics is the science of classifica-
tion, and the researchers at SBML focus
on describing and classifying fungi and
plants. They use morphological (struc-
tural), biochemical, and molecular data
to identify and characterize agricultur-
ally important species and sort out their

The Aggressive Mold
Samuels and SBML mycologist Sarah
Dodd examined 99 strains of the 4
Trichoderma biotypes found in culti-
vated mushroom beds. Only two bio-
types were associated with mushroom
loss; the other two were benign. SBML
studies confirmed others’ findings that
the benign biotypes were the real T.
harzianum and T. atroviride—a com-
mon, nonpathogenic fungus.
“There were consistent genetic differ-
ences between the biotype we knew to
be T. harzianum and the two biotypes that
were causing the mushroom losses,” says
Dodd. She compared all four biotypes
through molecular analysis, using partic-
ular sequences from their nuclear ribo-
somal DNA and a protein-coding gene
called EF-1-alpha.
Samuels says, “The differences are
detectable at more than just the molecu-
lar level. We could also distinguish the
benign fungi by their rate of growth and
odor. For example, only the real T. har-
zianum grows well and forms spores at
35C [95F]. And T. atroviride has a char-
acteristic coconut odor.”

Through their morphologic and mo-
lecular studies, the SBML researchers
were able to exonerate T. harzianum and
to name a new Trichoderma species as
the mushroom killer.
“As we suspected, the two strains of
Trichoderma causing damage to cultivat-
ed mushrooms aren’t from the species of
good biological control fungi,” says
Samuels. “They’re from a different spe-
cies altogether.” The scientists named the
new species T. aggressivum because of
its aggressive nature.
An article containing a description of
T. aggressivum and expanded descrip-
tions of T. harzianum and T. atroviride
appeared in the January 2002 issue of
Mycologia.—By Amy Spillman, ARS.

Other interesting Trich reads :

http://mushgrowinfo....Green Mold.html

Green mold of Mushrooms

D.M. Beyer, P.J. Wuest, M.G. Anderson

Symptoms and Effects

When mushroom beds spawned with the cultivated mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, are infested with Trichoderma green mold, non-productive areas occur on the casing surface (Fig 1) resulting in serious yield losses. Trichoderma spp. have traditionally been found as weed molds in compost, causing only limited green patches on casing/compost or cap spotting on mushrooms. However, in the early 1990's a new strain of Trichoderma was responsible for a green mold epidemic in Pennsylvania. This strain was identified as Trichoderma harzianum biotype 4 (Th4).

Trichoderma is a very versatile mold: a nuisance for people, a useful fungus for industry and biocontrol, and a bane to other fungi.

Trichoderma viride is one of many species of mold. Most molds are innocuous saprophytes, living off of dead organic materials, although a number of them are plant pathogens. Remember that all molds are fungi

P.S: I like Mycology Prof. Tom Volk. Some don't apparently... not sure why.

Trichoderma species associated with the green mold epidemic of commercially grown Agaricus bisporus

From: http://paipm.cas.psu...shProblSolv.htm

Mushroom Pest Problem Solver: http://paipm.cas.psu...shProblSolv.htm

#4 aumbrellaforainydays


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:31 PM

can mycelium fight back at trich? i got this jar that's eating it up:

Attached Thumbnails

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#5 akoutdoors



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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:37 PM

I have had jars of hillbilly get trich and it just got coverd by the mycelia.
After I used the jar as spawn the trich came back after the 2nd flush. So the myc dosent "eat" the trich but agressive mycelia can slow it down if everything is dialed in IMO.

#6 hyphaenation


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:40 PM

can Mycelium fight back at trich ? i got this jar that's eating it up:

Others will tell you better, and i'm sure its on a case-by-case basis ...but... from all i've read most likely not.

#7 Hippie3



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Posted 22 February 2007 - 07:34 PM

that jar looks massively contaminated to me.

#8 hyphaenation


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 07:54 PM

A few other Trich images for fun

Attached Thumbnails

  • grnmould.jpg
  • 51402047.HypocrearufaimperfectstageonTrichodermaviride01PK1.jpg
  • Trichoderma_harzianum.jpg
  • trichoderma_viride.jpg

#9 Phungivore


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Posted 22 February 2007 - 08:05 PM

when i see trich it tells me it is time to get rid of that jar. i rather not risk it. just easier to start over.

#10 CoyoteMesc


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Posted 23 February 2007 - 11:09 PM

that good ol' dish washer has not failed swim.
then loaded and back into the pc with a new batch, never had the prob. since the gb though. knock on wood. Dishwashers get very hot to kill most bacteria any way so with that I'd guess many
spores get killed too. He's always used the same jars

#11 srgtm1a


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Posted 24 February 2007 - 08:29 AM

Sure you can re-use the jars. I just wash out my jars with hot water and soap, and PC for 20 min. I do this even if there is no contam, just to be on the safe side. Dishwasher works well too.

As far as trich VS mycelium.....trich always wins. You will often hear stories of people who say "the mycelium defeated the trich in my jars".

This is not the case.

Mycelium will often times grow over, and cover the trich, but the trich is still there. It only pushes it deeper into the substrate. Once you start to see visual signs of trich, it has already spread everywhere.

You can have a cake that looks totally healthy from the outside, then when you break it open, it looks like the jolly green giant jerked off in it. The trich just gets burried deep into the cake by the mycelium.

Trying to save a substrate is often futile. You have a better chance of contaminating your grow environment, as well as future grows, than you do of saving the sub.

People have tried many techniques, ie salt, cutting contamed area away etc, but more often than not, the trich shows up again.

As you continue to grow more, you will find that tossing it is the best option. I know how hard it is to give up on a substrate, especially if it is your first grow, but it's for the best.



#12 ANON



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Posted 31 March 2007 - 06:18 PM

I just had two monotubs killed by trich :thumbdown:

#13 python


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Posted 31 March 2007 - 07:07 PM

there is so much info on this site on how to deal with trich

typically a jar with trich should be tossed unopened IMO.....

when i have a substrate that shows the white precursor-stage of trich (not the green stage), i toss it immediately into a bag and tie it closed and out it goes.......

If i see green, i mist slightly above the affected area to hold the spores in place....then i carefully remove in the same manner......

Mycelia has never beat trich IMO and it is a poor decision to allow it the time to do so, especially if green... FMRC has had studies in which he put a triched substrate in direct sunlight----the sub eventually recovered

Bleach will kill trich spores but should be used if a big outbreak has occured....on the walls, floors, etc......

The key to avoiding trich IMO is to shower and wear fresh clothes or tyvek coveralls before entering the fruiting area....This being in addition to realizing that trich is common in many soils from things such as peat........It is typically understood that periods of high humidity and low-no air exchange (and subsequently high co2 due the the low air exchange) will allow trich an advantage on the substrate allowing it to colonize..... so just by keeping a log and see if you get more trich when you have less air exchange or more air exchange while the substrates are in a high humidity environment....will give you a clearer look on your own.....

Trich is simply a natural way of mushroom death....

Best of luck :D

#14 Guest_SnakeEyes_*

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 11:08 PM

I agree with Fungivore partly in that I too usually dispose of the jar entirely. At the same time though they can be reused. I choose not to risk opening that up and chancing an infection of trich in the grow area. But if I had to reuse them then Id soak well in bleach water, a pc run couldnt hurt either. - Snake

#15 fahtster


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Posted 31 March 2007 - 11:44 PM

theres no reason to throw contam'd jars away... thats extremely wasteful. just PC them and remove the contents after a PC'ing. everything is dead in the jar after a PC'ing. waste not want not.


#16 python


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Posted 01 April 2007 - 12:50 AM

the cost of a gas stove running for 1.5 hrs (the time needed to be 90% sure) probably outweighs the cost of tossing a 50 cent jar IMO

But then again i almost never get trich in a jar so a few dollars in jars here or there bothers me very little....i can however assume that others have much larger scale problems though

to each his own


#17 Guest_floppypeter_*

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 07:31 AM

I have used trich infested spawn to make successful projects before. They almost always showed trich on or after the second flush. This was out of neccessity. I simply washed off the infected portion and crumbled to spawn.

Recent experiments with bulk subs has proved that the addition of pasterurised poo seems to retard the occurance of the green menace. 4 small trays were made with identical ingredients cept' for the poo. Each was equally neglected, trich was introduced, the poo sub never showed any signs the coir/verm mix picked it up after a week or so.

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