Conclusions

This and the accompanying review (see chapter 57) show that the molecular biology of Trichoderma has made tremendous progress during the last decade, both from a methodical as well as theoretical perspective. Gene manipulation in Trichoderma is now routine, as are more sophisticated approaches to study gene expression and its regulation. In addition, working models such as the one developed in our laboratory on the induction of chitinases during mycoparasitism (Figure 1), can now be investigated and critically tested in more detail. Yet a drawback of the current situation is that so far mainly genes encoding extracellular enzymes have been studied, and even these mostly under laboratory conditions. Because of the redundancy of the genes encoding extracellular enzymes such as chitinases (cf. Baek et al. 1999), the role of the individual enzymes in vivo still needs to be critically assessed. Other factors may be more relevant in the field such as colonization (rhizosphere competence) and competition with the respective hosts. The development of strategies to clone the respective genes and their functional analysis will be the challenge of the future decade.

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