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Photo of Trichoderma asperelloides T203 v1.0
Conidiating culture (left) and germinating (right) T. asperelloides. Photo by Maggie Gortikov (The Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem)

The filamentous fungus Trichoderma asperelloides is the genetically distinct agamospecies with cosmopolitan distribution. While the species is morphologically indistinguishable from T. asperellum, sequence polymorphism and other markers have established that the two are morphologically cryptic sister species which belongs to the phylogenetically ancestral section Trichoderma of the mycoparasitic genus Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota, Dikarya). T. asperelloides is frequently isolated from root-free soil, soil litter, rhizosphere of various plants, healthy plant tissues, fungal biomass and dead wood. The broad spectrum of its substrata suggests its extensive life style capabilities ranging from saprotrophy to biotrophy.  

T. asperelloides strain T203 (formerly designated T. asperellum) was isolated by the group of Ilan Chet from soil in Israel, and served as one of the first models for understanding Trichoderma mycoparasitism, rhizosphere interactions, increasing plant growth potential, tolerance to abiotic stresses, and induced systemic resistance of plants against fungal and bacterial disease-causing agents. As such, T. asperelloides strain T203 was the subject of numerous laboratory, greenhouse, large-scale field experiments incorporated into commercial agricultural preparations to enhance plant growth and as a biocontrol agent of plant diseases. 

The genome of T. asperelloides strain T203 will contribute to the understanding of genome evolution within the genus Trichoderma as well as comparative genome organization and diversity among strains of T. asperelloides, a species which has been continuously designated for both fundamental studies as well as commercial domestication.

Sequencing of this strain was funded by grant number 2018712 of the Binational Israel-US Science Foundation-US National Science Foundation to Oded Yarden Zheng Wang and Jeffery Townsend.

The genome and transcriptome sequences of Trichoderma asperelloides T203 were not determined by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) but were provided by Oded Yarden on September 7, 2021. To allow comparative analyses with other fungal genomes sequenced by the JGI, a copy of this genome is incorporated into Mycocosm. The JGI Annotation Pipeline was used to generate structural and functional annotations.

Genome Reference(s)


Samuels GJ, Ismaiel A, Bon MC, De Respinis S, Petrini O. Trichoderma asperellum sensu lato consists of two cryptic species. Mycologia. 2010 Jul-Aug;102(4):944-66. doi: 10.3852/09-243

Benhamou N, Chet I. Hyphal interactions between Trichoderma harzianum and Rhizoctonia solani: ultrastructure and gold cytochemistsry of the mycoparasitic process. Phytopathology. 1993. 83:1062–1071.