Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: endophytes

19 Exploitation of Endophytes for the Management of Plant Pathogens

Authors: N. P. Eswara Reddy, S. Thahir Basha


Here, we report the success stories of potential leaf, seed and root endophytes against soil borne as well as foliar plant pathogens which are nutritionally adequate and safe for consumption. Endophytes are the microorganisms that reside asymptomatically in the tissues of higher plants are a robust source of potential biocontrol agents and it is presumed that the survival ability of endophytes may be better when compared to phylloplane microflora. Of all the 68 putative leaf endophytes, the endophytes viz., EB9 (100%), and EB35 (100%) which were superior in controlling Colletotrichum gloeosporioides causing mango anthracnose were identified as Brevundimonas bullata (EB09) and Bacillus thuringiensis (EB35) and further delayed in ripening of mango fruits up to 21 days. As a part, the seed endophyte GSE-4 was identified as Archoromobacter spp. against Sclerotium rolfsii causing stem rot of groundnut and the root endophyte REB-8 against Rhizoctonia bataticola causing dry root rot of chickpea was identified as Bacillus subtilis. Both recorded least percent disease incidence (PDI) and increased plant growth promotion, respectively. Further, the novel Bacillus subtilis (SEB-2) against Macrophomina pahseolina causing charcoal rot of sunflower provides an ample scope for exploring the endophytes at large scale. The talc-based formulations of these endophytes developed can be commercialized after toxicological studies. At the bottom line these unexplored endophytes are the need of the hour against aggressive plant pathogens and to maintain the quality and abundance of food and feed and also to fetch marginal economy to the farmers will be discussed.

Keywords: endophytes, plant pathogens, commercialization, abundance of food

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18 Enhanced Phytoremediation Using Endophytic Microbes

Authors: Raymond Oriebe Anyasi, Harrison Atagana


The use of a plant in the detoxification of several toxin is been known to be enhanced by various microbial endophytes which have been reported to be contained in plants growing in any contaminated soil. Plants in their natural state are mostly colonized by endophytes which in the process forms symbiotic associations with the host plants. These benefits that the endophytes offer to the plants include amongst others to: Enhance plants growth through the production of various phytohormones; increase in the resistance of environmental stresses; produce important bioactive metabolites; help in the fixing of nitrogen in the plants organelles; help in the metal translocation and accumulation in plants; assist in the production of enzymes involves the degradation of organic contaminants. Therefore recognizing these natural processes of the microbes will enable the understanding of the effective mechanism for enhanced phytoremediation. The aim of this study was to survey the progressiveness in the study involving endophyte-assisted phytoremediation of contaminants; highlighting various pollutants, the plants used, the endophytes studied as well as the type of interaction between the plants and the microbes so as to proffer a better future prospect for the technology.

Keywords: phytoremediation, endophytes, microbes, pollution, environmental management, plants

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17 Molecular Profiling and Potential Bioactive Characteristics of Endophytic Fungi Isolated from Leptadenia Pyrotechnica

Authors: Walaa Al-Maghraby


Endophytes are organisms that colonize internal plant tissues without causing apparent harm to their host. Almost all groups of microorganisms have been found in endophytic association with plants may be fungi. They stimulate the production of secondary metabolites with a diverse range of biological activities. Leptadenia pyrotechnica is a more or less leafless, erect shrub with straight stems which is highly distributed in Saudi Arabia. Four endophytes fungi were isolated from Leptadenia pyrotechnica and identified using 18S ribosomal RNA sequences, which revealed four fungi genuses, namely Aspergillus terreus; Aspergillus welwitschiae; Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus flavus. In this present study, four endophytic fungi from Leptadenia pyrotechnica were used for obtaining crude aqueous and ethyl acetate extracts for antimicrobial screening against 6 human pathogens, the antibacterial tests presented satisfactory results, where the pathogenic bacteria were inhibited by the four extracts tested, except for Escherichia coli that was inhibited by all extracts except ethyl acetate extract of Aspergillus terreus. Analysis of variance showed that the extract produced by endophyte Leptadenia pyrotechnica was the most effective against all bacteria, either gram-negative or positive. However, the extract was not efficient against pathogenic fungi. Therefore, this study indicates that endophytes from medicinal plant Leptadenia pyrotechnica could be potential sources of antibacterial substances.

Keywords: antimicrobial activity, Aspergillus sp, endophytes, Leptadenia pyrotechnica

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16 Characterization of Fungal Endophytes in Leaves, Stems and Roots of African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis sternocarpa Hochst ex. A. Rich Harms)

Authors: Iyabode A. Kehinde, Joshua O. Oyekanmi, Jumoke T. Abimbola, Olajumoke E. Ayanda


African yam bean (AYB), (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) is a leguminous crop that provides nutritionally rich seeds, tubers and leaves for human consumption. AYB potentials as an important food security crop is yet to be realized and thus classified as underutilized crop. Underutilization of the crop has been partly associated with scarce information on the incidence and characterization of fungal endophytes infecting vascular parts of AYB. Accurate and robust detection of these endophytic fungi is essential for diagnosis, modeling, surveillance and protection of germplasm (seed) health. This work aimed at isolating and identifying fungal endophytes associated with leaves, stems and roots of AYB in Ogun State, Nigeria. This study investigated both cultural and molecular properties of endophytic fungi in AYB for its characterization and diversity. Fungal endophytes were isolated and culturally identified. DNA extraction, PCR amplification using ITS primers and analyses of nucleotide sequences of ribosomal DNA fragments were conducted on selected isolates. BLAST analysis was conducted on consensus nucleotide sequences of 28 out of 30 isolates and results showed similar homology with genera of Rhizopus, Cunninghamella, Fusarium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Alternaria, Diaporthe, Nigrospora, Purpureocillium, Corynespora, Magnaporthe, Macrophomina, Curvularia, Acrocalymma, Talaromyces and Simplicillium. Slight similarity was found with endophytes associated with soybean. Phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood method showed high diversity among the general. These organisms have high economic importance in crop improvement. For an instance, Purpureocillium lilacinum showed high potential in control of root rot caused by nematodes in tomatoes. Though some can be pathogens, but many of the fungal endophytes have beneficial attributes to plant in host health, uptake of nutrients, disease suppression, and host immunity.

Keywords: molecular characterization, African Yam Bean, fungal endophyte, plant parts

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15 Effect of Biostimulants on Downstream Processing of Endophytic Fungi Hosted in Aromatic Plant, Ocimum basicilium

Authors: Kanika Chowdhary, Satyawati Sharma


Endophytic microbes are hosted inside plants in a symbiotic and hugely benefitting relationship. Exploring agriculturally beneficial endophytes is quite a prospective field of research. In the present work fungal endophytes associated with aromatic plant Ocimum basicilium L. were investigated for biocontrol potential. The anti-plant pathogenic activity of fungal endophytes was tested against causal agent of stem rot Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. 75 endophytic fungi were recovered through culture-dependent approach. Fungal identification was performed both microscopically and by rDNA ITS sequencing. Curvuaria lunata (Sb-6) and Colletotrichum lindemuthianum (Sb-8) inhibited 86% and 72% mycelia growth of S. sclerotinia on Sabouraud dextrose agar medium at 7.4 pH. Small-scale fermentation was carried out on sterilised oatmeal grain medium. In another set of experiment, fungi were grown in oatmeal grain medium amended with certain biostimulants such as aqueous seaweed extract (10% v/w); methanolic seaweed extract (5% v/w); cow urine (20% v/w); biochar (10% w/w) in triplicate along with control of each to ascertain the degree of metabolic difference and anti-plant pathogenic activity induced. Phytochemically extracts of both the fungal isolates showed the presence of flavanoids, phenols, tannins, alkaloids and terpenoids. Ethylacetate extract of C. lunata and C. lindemuthianum suppressed S. sclerotinia conidial germination at IC50 values of 0.514± 0.02 and 0.913± 0.04 mg/ml. Therefore, fungal endophytes of O. basicilium are highly promising bio-resource agent, which can be developed further for sustainable agriculture.

Keywords: endophytic fungi, ocimum basicilium, sclerotinia sclerotiorum, biostimulants

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14 Screening of Four Malaysian Isolated Endophytes with Candesartan in a Microtiter Plate

Authors: Rasha Saad, Jean Frederic Weber, Fatimah Bebe, Sadia Sultan


The goal of study was to screen the effects of candesartan and four endophytic fungi for their potential in microbial biotransformation. In this experiment, four types of unidentified fungi with the codes of TH2L1, TH2R10, TH1P35 and TH1S46 were used in screening process by MECFUS (Microtiter plate, Elicitors, Combination, Freeze-drying, UHPLC, Statistical analysis) protocol. The experiment was carried out by using 96-well microtiter plate (MTP) with different media and elicitors. Various media with two concentrations of Potato Dextrose Broth (PDB) and elicitors used were to induce the production of secondary metabolites from the fungi as well as the biotransformation of the drug compound. After incubation, cultures were extracted by freeze drying method and finally analyzed by ultra-High performance Liquid Chromatography (uHPLC). The extracts analyzed by uHPLC followed by LC/Ms, demonstrated the presence of biotransformation products from the drug compound and elicitation of the secondary metabolism from the fungi by the occurrence of the additional peaks. From the four fungi, TH1S46 showed highly potential produced secondary metabolites as well as the biotransformation of candesartan. For other fungi, they responded when candesartan was introduced. Moreover, the additional peaks produced in uHPLC need to be further investigation by using LC-MS or NMR.

Keywords: biotransformation, candesartan, endophytes, secondary metabolites

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13 Salicylic Acid Signalling in Relation to Root Colonization in Rice

Authors: Seema Garcha, Sheetal Chopra, Navraj Sarao


Plant hormones play a role in internal colonization by beneficial microbes and also systemic acquired resistance. They define qualitative and quantitative nature of root microbiome and also influence dynamics of root rhizospheric soil. The present study is an attempt to relate salicylic acid (signal molecule) content and qualitative nature of root endophytes at various stages in the growth of rice varieties of commercial value- Parmal 121 and Basmati 1121. Root seedlings of these varieties were raised using tissue culture techniques and then they were transplanted in the fields. Cultivation was done using conventional methods in agriculture. Field soil contained 0.39% N, 75.12 Kg/hectare of phosphorus and 163.0 Kg/hectare of potassium. Microfloral profiling of the root tissue was done using the selective microbiological medium. The salicylic acid content was estimated using HPLC-Agilent 1100 HPLC Series. Salicylic acid level of Basmati 1121 remained relatively low at the time of transplant and 90 days after transplant. It increased marginally at 60 days. A similar trend was observed with Parmal 121 as well. However, Parmal variety recorded 0.935 ug/g of salicylic acid at 60 days after transplant. Salicylic acid content decreased after 90 days as both the rice varieties remained disease free. The endophytic root microflora was established by 60 days after transplant in both the varieties after which their population became constant. Rhizobium spp dominated over Azotobacter spp. Genetic profiling of endophytes for nitrogen-fixing ability is underway.

Keywords: plant-microbe interaction, rice, root microbiome, salicylic acid

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12 Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Enzyme Activities of Geosmithia pallida (KU693285): A Fungal Endophyte Associated with Brucea mollis Wall Ex. Kurz, an Endangered and Medicinal Plant of N. E. India

Authors: Deepanwita Deka, Dhruva Kumar Jha


Endophytes are the microbes that colonize living, internal tissues of plants without causing any immediate, overt negative effects. Endophytes are rich source of therapeutic substances like antimicrobial, anticancerous, herbicidal, insecticidal, immunomodulatory compounds. Brucea mollis, commonly known as Quinine in Assam, belonging to the family Simaroubaceae, is a shrub or small tree, recorded as endangered species in North East India by CAMP survey in 2003. It is traditionally being used as antimalarial and antimicrobial agent and has antiplasmodial, cytotoxic, anticancer, diuretic, cardiovascular effect etc. Being endangered and medicinal; this plant may host certain noble endophytes which need to be studied in depth. The aim of the present study was isolation and identification of potent endophytic fungi from Brucea mollis, an endangered medicinal plant, to protect it from extinction due to over use for medicinal purposes. Aseptically collected leaves, barks and roots samples of healthy plants were washed and cut into a total of 648 segments of about 2 cm long and 0.5 cm broad with sterile knife, comprising 216 segments each from leaves, barks and roots. These segments were surface sterilized using ethanol, mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). Different media viz., Czapeck-Dox-Agar (CDA, Himedia), Potato-Dextrose-Agar (PDA, Himedia), Malt Extract Agar (MEA, Himedia), Sabourad Dextrose Agar (SDA, Himedia), V8 juice agar, nutrient agar and water agar media and media amended with plant extracts were used separately for the isolation of the endophytic fungi. A total of 11 fungal species were recovered from leaf, bark and root tissues of B. mollis. The isolates were screened for antimicrobial, antioxidant and enzymatic activities using certain protocols. Cochliobolus geniculatus was identified as the most dominant species. The mycelia sterilia (creamy white) showing highest inhibitory activity against Candida albicans (MTCC 183) was induced to sporulate using modified PDA media. The isolate was identified as Geosmithia pallida. The internal transcribed spacer of rDNA was sequenced for confirmation of the taxonomic identity of the sterile mycelia (creamy white). The internal transcribed spacer r-DNA sequence was submitted to the NCBI (KU693285) for the first time from India. G. pallida and Penicillium showed highest antioxidant activity among all the isolates. The antioxidant activity of G. pallida and Penicillium didn’t show statistically significant difference (P˃0.05). G. pallida, Cochliobolus geniculatus and P. purpurogenum respectively showed highest cellulase, amylase and protease activities. Thus, endopytic fungal isolates may be used as potential natural resource of pharmaceutical importance. The endophytic fungi, Geosmithia pallida, may be used for synthesis of pharmaceutically important natural products and consequently can replace plants hitherto used for the same purpose. This study suggests that endophytes should be investigated more aggressively to better understand the endophyte biology of B. mollis.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, antioxidant activity, Brucea mollis, endophytic fungi, enzyme activity, Geosmithia pallida

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11 An Endophyte of Amphipterygium adstringens as Producer of Cytotoxic Compounds

Authors: Karol Rodriguez-Peña, Martha L. Macias-Rubalcava, Leticia Rocha-Zavaleta, Sergio Sanchez


A bioassay-guided study for anti-cancer compounds from endophytes of the Mexican medicinal plant Amphipteryygium adstringens resulted in the isolation of a streptomycete capable of producing a group of compounds with high cytotoxic activity. Microorganisms from surface sterilized samples of various sections of the plant were isolated and all the actinomycetes found were evaluated for their potential to produce compounds with cytotoxic activity against cancer cell lines MCF7 (breast cancer) and HeLa (cervical cancer) as well as the non-tumoural cell line HaCaT (keratinocyte). The most active microorganism was picked for further evaluation. The identification of the microorganism was carried out by 16S rDNA gene sequencing, finding the closest proximity to Streptomyces scabrisporus, but with the additional characteristic that the strain isolated in this study was capable of producing colorful compounds never described for this species. Crude extracts of dichloromethane and ethyl acetate showed IC50 values of 0.29 and 0.96 μg/mL for MCF7, 0.51 and 1.98 μg/mL for HeLa and 0.96 and 2.7 μg/mL for HaCaT. Scaling the fermentation to 10 L in a bioreactor generated 1 g of total crude extract, which was fractionated by silica gel open column to yield 14 fractions. Nine of the fractions showed cytotoxic activity. Fraction 4 was chosen for subsequent purification because of its high activity against cancerous cell lines, lower activity against keratinocytes. HPLC-UV-MS/ESI was used for the evaluation of this fraction, finding at least 10 different compounds with high values of m/z (≈588). Purification of the compounds was carried out by preparative thin-layer chromatography. The prevalent compound was Steffimycin B, a molecule known for its antibiotic and cytotoxic activities and also for its low solubility in aqueous solutions. Along with steffimycin B, another five compounds belonging to the steffimycin family were isolated and at this moment their structures are being elucidated, some of which display better solubility in water: an attractive property for the pharmaceutical industry. As a conclusion to this study, the isolation of endophytes resulted in the discovery of a strain capable of producing compounds with high cytotoxic activity that need to be studied for their possible utilization.

Keywords: amphipterygium adstringens, cytotoxicity, streptomyces scabrisporus, steffimycin

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10 Flora of Seaweeds and the Preliminary Screening of the Fungal Endophytes

Authors: Nur Farah Ain Zainee, Ahmad Ismail, Nazlina Ibrahim, Asmida Ismail


Seaweeds are economically important as they have the potential of being utilized, the capabilities and opportunities for further expansion as well as the availability of other species for future development. Hence, research on the diversity and distribution of seaweeds have to be expanded whilst the seaweeds are one of the Malaysian marine valuable heritage. The study on the distribution of seaweeds at Pengerang, Johor was carried out between February and November 2015 at Kampung Jawa Darat and Kampung Sungai Buntu. The study sites are located at the south-southeast of Peninsular Malaysia where the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Project Development (RAPID) are in progress. In future, the richness of seaweeds in Pengerang will vanish soon due to the loss of habitat prior to RAPID project. The research was completed to study the diversity of seaweed and to determine the present of fungal endophyte isolated from the seaweed. The sample was calculated by using quadrat with 25-meter line transect by 3 replication for each site. The specimen were preserved, identified, processed in the laboratory and kept as herbarium specimen in Algae Herbarium, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The complete thallus specimens for fungal endophyte screening were chosen meticulously, transferred into sterile zip-lock plastic bag and kept in the freezer for further process. A total of 29 species has been identified including 12 species of Chlorophyta, 2 species of Phaeophyta and 14 species of Rhodophyta. From February to November 2015, the number of species highly varied and there was a significant change in community structure of seaweeds. Kampung Sungai Buntu shows the highest diversity throughout the study compared to Kampung Jawa Darat. This evidence can be related to the high habitat preference such as types of shores which is rocky, sandy and having lagoon and bay. These can enhance the existence of the seaweeds community due to variations of the habitat. Eighteen seaweed species were selected and screened for the capability presence of fungal endophyte; Sargassum polycystum marked having the highest number of fungal endophyte compared to the other species. These evidence has proved the seaweed have capable of accommodating a lot of species of fungal endophytes. Thus, these evidence leads to positive consequences where further research should be employed.

Keywords: diversity, fungal endophyte, macroalgae, screening, seaweed

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9 Selection of Endophytcs Fungi Isolated from Date Palm, Halotolerants and Productors of Secondary Metabolite

Authors: Fadila Mohamed Mahmoud., Derkaoui I., Krimi Z.


Date palm is a plant which presents a very good adaptation to the difficult conditions of the environment in particular to the drought and saline stress even at high temperatures. This adaptation is related on the biology of the plant and to the presence of a microflora endophyte which live inside its tissues. Fifteen endophytics fungi isolated from date palm were tested in vitro in the presence of various NaCl concentrations to select halotolerantes isolates. These same endophytes were tested for their colonizing capacity by the description of the production of secondary metabolites more particularly the enzymes (pectinases, proteases, and phosphorylases), and the production of antibiotics and growth hormones. Significant difference was observed between the isolates with respect to the tests carried out.

Keywords: Date palm, Halotolerantes, endophyte, Secondary metabolites.

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8 Comparative Production of Secondary Metabolites by Prunus africana (Hook. F.) Kalkman Provenances in Cameroon and Some Associated Endophytic Fungi

Authors: Gloria M. Ntuba-Jua, Afui M. Mih, Eneke E. T. Bechem


Prunus africana (Hook. F.) Kalkman, commonly known as Pygeum or African cherry belongs to the Rosaceae family. It is a medium to large, evergreen tree with a spreading crown of 10 to 20 m. It is used by the traditional medical practitioners for the treatment of over 45ailments in Cameroon and sub-Sahara Africa. In modern medicine, it is used in the treatment of benign prostrate hyperplasia (BPH), prostate gland hypertrophy (enlarged prostate glands). This is possible because of its ability to produce some secondary metabolites which are believed to have bioactivity against these ailments. The ready international market for the sale of Prunus bark, uncontrolled exploitation, illegal harvesting using inappropriate techniques and poor timing of harvesting have contributed enormously to making the plant endangered. It is known to harbor a large number of endophytic fungi with the potential to produce similar secondary metabolites as the parent plant. Alternative sourcing of medicinal principles through endophytic fungi requires succinct knowledge of the endophytic fungi. This will serve as a conservation measure for Prunus africana by reducing dependence on Prunus bark for such metabolites. This work thus sought to compare the production of some major secondary metabolites produced by P. africana and some of its associated endophytic fungi. The leaves and stem bark of the plant from different provenances were soaked in methanol for 72 hrs to yield the methanolic crude extract. The phytochemical screening of the methanolic crude extracts using different standard procedures revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, saponins, phenolics and steroids. Pure cultures of some predominantly isolated endophyte species from the difference Prunus provenances such as Curvularia sp, and Morphospecies P001 were also grown in Potato Dextrose Broth (PDB) for 21 days and later extracted with Methylene dichloride (MDC) solvent after 24hrs to produce crude culture extracts. Qualitative assessment of crude culture extracts showed the presence of tannins, terpenoids, phenolics and steroids particularly β-Sitosterol, (a major bioactive metabolite) as did the plant tissues. Qualitative analysis by thin layer chromatography (TLC) was done to confirm and compare the production of β-Sitosterol (as marker compounds) in the crude extracts of the plant and endophyte. Samples were loaded on TLC silica gel aluminium barked plate (Kieselgel 60 F254, 0.2 mm, Merck) using acetone/hexane, (3.0:7.0) solvent system. They were visualized under an ultra violet lamp (UV254 and UV360). TLC revealed that leaves had a higher concentration of β-sitosterol in terms of band intensity than stem barks from the different provenances. The intensity of β-sitosterol bands in the culture extracts of endophytes was comparable to the plant extracts except for Curvularia sp (very minute) whose band was very faint. The ability of these fungi to make β-sitosterol was confirmed by TLC analysis with the compound having chromatographic properties (retention factor) similar to those of β-sitosterol standard. The ability of these major endophytes to produce secondary metabolites similar to the host has therefore been demonstrated. There is, therefore, the potential of developing the in vitro production system of Prunus secondary metabolites thereby enhancing its conservation.

Keywords: Caneroon, endophytic fungi, Prunus africana, secondary metabolite

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7 Study of the Microflora of Cedar Forests with Different Degrees of Decline in the National Park Belezma (Batna, Algeria)

Authors: Cherak Imen, Sellami Mehdi


The Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica, is endemic to the mountains of North Africa. This is one of the most valuable softwood, both economically, ecologically, aesthetically and culturally. In Algeria, the cedar forests currently have worrying symptoms of decline which therefore require special monitoring. Fungal endophytes are involved in various diseases of the Atlas cedar. They attack all organs on which they cause many symptoms. These microflora live in complex interaction with plants. In this study, we identified a total of 09 mycotaxons collected needles Cedarwood at three stations with different degrees of decline (Talmet, Boumerzoug and Tuggurt) in the National Park Belezma (Batna, Algeria). The study conducted on a total of 12 trees were identified 08 mycoendophytes in Talmet station, 04 species in the Boumerzoug station and 03 in Tuggurt station. The total species richness mycoendophytes depending on the types of cedar forests showed that the largest diversity was recorded at the cedar forest healthy, Alternaria is the most common type in all stations. This work should be completed by further detailed studies to identify other endophyte species and better know its interactions with the Atlas cedar.

Keywords: Cedrus atlantica, endophytic fungi, microflora, mycotaxons, mycoendophyte

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6 Media Manipulations and the Culture of Beneficial Endophytic Fungi in the Leaves and Stem Bark of Grewia lasiocarpa E. Mey. Ex Harv

Authors: Akwu A. Nneka, Naidoo, Yougasphree


A significantly high number of microbes exist in higher plants; these microbes include bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes. There are reports on the benefits of endophytic fungi and their products of metabolism to the host plant and man, consequently, it is expedient to explore the changes that could arise as a result of manipulating their growth media. Grewia lasiocarpa E. Mey. ex Harv. (Malvaceae) is an indigenous Southern African plant, that belongs to a genus with known medicinal properties. Three media were used to culture the endophytic fungi viz., Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA), Malt Extract Agar (MEA), and Bacteriological Agar (BA) were used singly, and supplemented with three dilutions of the leaves and stem bark extracts. The manipulated growth media composition had a significant effect on the diversity of the isolated fungal populations. Several endophytic fungi were isolated; their distribution and diversity revealed a significant relatedness with the manipulated media. The media supplemented with the plant extracts was observed to give a significant increase in the growth rate and yield of the endophytes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study describing the endophytic fungi present in the leaves and stem bark of G. lasiocarpa E. Mey. ex Harv.

Keywords: Grewia lasiocarpa, plant-based extracts, endophytic fungi, Malvaceae

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5 Equipping Organic Farming in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants' Scientific Interventions

Authors: Alok Kalra


Consumers and practitioners (medical herbalists, pharmacists, and aromatherapists) with strong and increased awareness about health and environment demand organically grown medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) to offer a valued product. As the system does not permit the use of synthetic fertilizers the use of nutrient rich organic manures is extremely important. CSIR-CIMAP has developed a complete recycling package for managing distillation and agro-waste of medicinal and aromatic plants for production of superior quality vermicompost involving microbes capable of producing high amounts of humic acid. The major benefits being faster composting period and nutrient rich vermicompost; a nutrient advantage of about 100-150% over the most commonly used organic manure (FYM). At CSIR-CIMAP, strains of microbial inoculants with multiple activities especially strains useful both as biofertilizers and biofungicide and consortia of microbes possessing diverse functional activities have been developed. CSIR-CIMAP has also initiated a program where a large number of accessions are being screened for identifying organic proficient genotypes in mints, ashwagandha, geranium and safed musli. Some of the natural plant growth promoters like calliterpenones from the plant Callicarpa macrophylla has been tested successfully for induction of rooting in stem cuttings and improving growth and yield of various crops. Some of the microbes especially the endophytes have even been identified improving the active constituents of medicinal and aromatic plants. The above said scientific interventions making organic farming a charming proposition would be discussed in details.

Keywords: organic agriculture, microbial inoculants, organic fertilizers, natural plant growth promoters

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4 Introducing Two Species of Parastagonospora (Phaeosphaeriaceae) on Grasses from Italy and Russia, Based on Morphology and Phylogeny

Authors: Ishani D. Goonasekara, Erio Camporesi, Timur Bulgakov, Rungtiwa Phookamsak, Kevin D. Hyde


Phaeosphaeriaceae comprises a large number of species occurring mainly on grasses and cereal crops as endophytes, saprobes and especially pathogens. Parastagonospora is an important genus in Phaeosphaeriaceae that includes pathogens causing leaf and glume blotch on cereal crops. Currently, there are fifteen Parastagonospora species described, including both pathogens and saprobes. In this study, one sexual morph species and an asexual morph species, occurring as saprobes on members of Poaceae are introduced based on morphology and a combined molecular analysis of the LSU, SSU, ITS, and RPB2 gene sequence data. The sexual morph species Parastagonospora elymi was isolated from a Russian sample of Elymus repens, a grass commonly known as couch grass, and important for grazing animals, as a weed and used in traditional Austrian medicine. P. elymi is similar to the sexual morph of P. avenae in having cylindrical asci, bearing 8, overlapping biseriate, fusiform ascospores but can be distinguished by its subglobose to conical shaped, wider ascomata. In addition, no sheath was observed surrounding the ascospores. The asexual morph species was isolated from a specimen from Italy, on Dactylis glomerata, a commonly found grass distributed in temperate regions. It is introduced as Parastagonospora macrouniseptata, a coelomycete, and bears a close resemblance to P. allouniseptata and P. uniseptata in having globose to subglobose, pycnidial conidiomata and hyaline, cylindrical, 1-septate conidia. However, the new species could be distinguished in having much larger conidiomata. In the phylogenetic analysis which consisted of a maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis P. elymi showed low bootstrap support, but well segregated from other strains within the Parastagonospora clade. P. neoallouniseptata formed a sister clade with P. allouniseptata with high statistical support.

Keywords: dothideomycetes, multi-gene analysis, Poaceae, saprobes, taxonomy

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3 Crop Genotype and Inoculum Density Influences Plant Growth and Endophytic Colonization Potential of Plant Growth-Promoting Bacterium Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN

Authors: Muhammad Naveed, Sohail Yousaf, Zahir Ahmad Zahir, Birgit Mitter, Angela Sessitsch


Most bacterial endophytes originate from the soil and enter plants via the roots followed by further spread through the inner tissues. The mechanisms allowing bacteria to colonize plants endophytically are still poorly understood for most bacterial and plant species. Specific bacterial functions are required for plant colonization, but also the plant itself is a determining factor as bacterial ability to establish endophytic populations is very often dependent on the plant genotype (cultivar) and inoculums density. The effect of inoculum density (107, 108, 109 CFU mL-1) of Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN was evaluated on growth and endophytic colonization of different maize and potato cultivars under axenic and natural soil conditions. PsJN inoculation significantly increased maize seedling growth and tuber yield of potato at all inoculum density compared to uninoculated control. Under axenic condition, PsJN inoculation (108 CFU mL-1) significantly improved the germination, root/shoot length and biomass up to 62, 115, 98 and 135% of maize seedling compared to uninoculated control. In case of potato, PsJN inoculation (109 CFU mL-1) showed maximum response and significantly increased root/shoot biomass and tuber yield under natural soil condition. We confirmed that PsJN is able to colonize the rhizosphere, roots and shoots of maize and potato cultivars. The endophytic colonization increased linearly with increasing inoculum density (within a range of 8 x 104 – 3 x 107 CFU mL-1) and were highest for maize (Morignon) and potato (Romina) as compared to other cultivars. Efficient colonization of cv. Morignon and Romina by strain PsJN indicates the specific cultivar colonizing capacity of the bacteria. The findings of the study indicate the non-significant relationship between colonization and plant growth promotion in maize under axenic conditions. However, the inoculum level (109 CFU mL-1) that promoted colonization of rhizosphere and plant interior (endophytic) also best promoted growth and tuber yield of potato under natural soil conditions.

Keywords: crop genotype, inoculum density, Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN, colonization, growth, potato

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2 Extraction and Quantification of Peramine Present in Dalaca pallens, a Pest of Grassland in Southtern Chile

Authors: Leonardo Parra, Daniel Martínez, Jorge Pizarro, Fernando Ortega, Manuel Chacón-Fuentes, Andrés Quiroz


Control of Dalaca pallens or blackworms, one of the most important hypogeous pest in grassland in southern Chile, is based on the use of broad-spectrum insecticides such as organophosphates and pyrethroids. However, the rapid development of insecticide resistance in field populations of this insect and public concern over the environmental impact of these insecticides has resulted in the search for other control methods. Specifically, the use of endophyte fungi for controlling pest has emerged as an interesting and promising strategy. Endophytes from ryegrass (Lolium perenne), establish a biotrophic relationship with the host, defined as mutualistic symbiosis. The plant-fungi association produces alkaloids where peramine is the main toxic substance against Listronotus bonariensis, the most important epigean pest of ryegrass. Nevertheless, the effect of peramina on others pest insects, such as D. pallens, to our knowledge has not been studied, and also its possible metabolization in the body of the larvae. Therefore, we addressed the following research question: Do larvae of D. pallens store peramine after consumption of ryegrass endophyte infected (E+)? For this, specimens of blackworms were fed with ryegrass plant of seven experimental lines and one commercial cultivar endophyte free (E-) sown at the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Carillanca (Vilcún, Chile). Once the feeding period was over, ten larvae of each treatment were examined. Individuals were dissected, and their gut was removed to exclude any influence of remaining material. The rest of the larva's body was dried at 60°C by 24-48 h and ground into a fine powder using a mortar. 25 mg of dry powder was transferred to a microcentrifuge tube and extracted in 1 mL of a mixture of methanol:water:formic acid. Then, the samples were centrifuged at 16,000 rpm for 3 min, and the supernatant was colected and injected in the liquid chromatography of high resolution (HPLC). The results confirmed the presence of peramine in the larva's body of D. pallens. The insects that fed the experimental lines LQE-2 and LQE-6 were those where peramine was present in high proportion (0.205 and 0.199 ppm, respectively); while LQE-7 and LQE-3 obtained the lowest concentrations of the alkaloid (0.047 and 0.053 ppm, respectively). Peramine was not detected in the insects when the control cultivar Jumbo (E-) was tested. These results evidenced the storage and metabolism of peramine during consumption of the larvae. However, the effect of this alkaloid present in 'future ryegrass cultivars' (LQE-2 and LQE-6) on the performance and survival of blackworms must be studied and confirmed experimentally.

Keywords: blackworms, HPLC, alkaloid, pest

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1 Alkaloid Levels in Experimental Lines of Ryegrass in Southtern Chile

Authors: Leonardo Parra, Manuel Chacón-Fuentes, Andrés Quiroz


One of the most important factors in beef and dairy production in the world as well as also in Chile, is related to the correct choice of cultivars or mixtures of forage grasses and legumes to ensure high yields and quality of grassland. However, a great problem is the persistence of the grasses as a result of the action of different hypogeous as epigean pests. The complex insect pests associated with grassland include white grubs (Hylamorpha elegans, Phytoloema herrmanni), blackworm (Dalaca pallens) and Argentine stem weevil (Listronotus bonariensis). In Chile, the principal strategy utilized for controlling this pest is chemical control, through the use of synthetic insecticides, however, underground feeding habits of larval and flight activity of adults makes this uneconomic method. Furthermore, due to problems including environmental degradation, development of resistance and chemical residues, there is a worldwide interest in the use of alternative environmentally friendly pest control methods. In this sense, in recent years there has been an increasing interest in determining the role of endophyte fungi in controlling epigean and hypogeous pest. Endophytes from ryegrass (Lolium perenne), establish a biotrophic relationship with the host, defined as mutualistic symbiosis. The plant-fungi association produces a “cocktail of alkaloids” where peramine is the main toxic substance present in endophyte of ryegrass and responsible for damage reduction of L. bonariensis. In the last decade, few studies have been developed on the effectiveness of new ryegrass cultivars carriers of endophyte in controlling insect pests. Therefore, the aim of this research is to provide knowledge concerning to evaluate the alkaloid content, such as peramine and Lolitrem B, present in new experimental lines of ryegrass and feasible to be used in grasslands of southern Chile. For this, during 2016, ryegrass plants of six experimental lines and two commercial cultivars sown at the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Carrillanca (Vilcún, Chile) were collected and subjected to a process of chemical extraction to identify and quantify the presence of peramine and lolitrem B by the technique of liquid chromatography of high resolution (HPLC). The results indicated that the experimental lines EL-1 and EL-3 had high content of peramine (0.25 and 0.43 ppm, respectively) than with lolitrem B (0.061 and 0.19 ppm, respectively). Furthermore, the higher contents of lolitrem B were detected in the EL-4 and commercial cultivar Alto (positive control) with 0.08 and 0.17 ppm, respectively. Peramine and lolitrem B were not detected in the cultivar Jumbo (negative control). These results suggest that EL-3 would have potential as future cultivate because it has high content of peramine, alkaloid responsible for controlling insect pest. However, their current role on the complex insects attacking ryegrass grasslands should be evaluated. The information obtained in this research could be used to improve control strategies against hypogeous and epigean pests of grassland in southern Chile and also to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides.

Keywords: HPLC, Lolitrem B, peramine, pest

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