New, environmentally friendly Trichoderma-product for the protection of wooden poles

The problem of copper-tolerant, wood-decaying fungi on wooden poles, which many telecom and electricity companies have to deal with, could soon be a thing of the past. Together with industry, we are researching a new, environmentally friendly solution to increase the service life of wooden poles.

Biological control of fungal infestations with microorganisms

The product Avengelus G by MycoSolutions offers the optimal combination of sustainable and biological wood protection: The beneficial soil fungus Trichoderma harzianum can protect wooden poles from wood-decaying fungi by parasitism. The fungus attacks the pathogen, cracks its cell walls and destroys it. Thus, it is excluded that the Trichoderma can trigger resistances.

A native species of Trichoderma harzianum is used for the production in the Swiss laboratory. This ensures that the beneficial fungus is adapted to the local environmental conditions.

Simple, cost-effective application

When replacing a wooden pole, the granules with Trichoderma harzianum are mixed with the excavated soil material. This mixture is then added to the first 20-30 cm of the soil. Depending on the diameter of the wooden pole, the costs are about 40 to 80 Francs per pole. Renowned customers such as Swisscom and the Lake Constance regional plant in Tettnang, Germany, are taking part in extended field tests.

Current research: Vaccine paste for the biological control of innternal wood rot pathogens

In another joint CTI/Innosuisse project together with Impregna, Empa is exploring and developing a new biological vaccine paste that will be inserted into wooden poles that show an early fungal infestation with aiming to stop the growth of pathogens. To this end, sections of wooden poles from all over Switzerland are analysed for the occurring internal rot fungi. Additional studies will be carried our which aim at using Trichoderma harzianum as a biological control against internal rot fungi. The current available injection device is being revised and adapted to new requirements. The first results on the efficacy of the vaccine paste are expected in 2019.