Isolating endophytic fungi from evergreen plants and determining their antifungal activities


Changhong Liu*, Tingting Liu, Fengfeng Yuan and Yucheng Gu

A total of 262 strains of endophytic fungi were isolated from 23 evergreen plant species collected from Zijin Mountain in Nanjing, China. Two-hundred and three of the fungi isolates were classified into 23 taxa in 19 genera based on colony morphology and microscopic observation of mycelia and asexual/sexual spores. The highest richness was obtained from Cedrus deodara (28), while the highest diversity of identified species (6) was isolated from Sabina procumbens. Some fungi appeared to be host-specific, such as Botrytis ricini lt300, Geotrichum candidum lt274 and Lacellina graminicola lt256, while other strains (e.g. Alternaria alternata lt222, Anthina sp. Lt147, Colletotrichum gloeosporioids lt305 and Fusarium solani lt293) were commonly isolated from a range of plants. The richness of the endophytic fungi recovered from plant branches was significantly higher than those from leaves. Moreover, about 70% of the obtained endophytic fungi could produce antifungal metabolites against at least one plant pathogenic fungi. The EtOAc extracts of seven species of Anthina sp. lt147, C. gloeosporioids lt305, Ectostroma sp. Lt144, Fusarium decemcellulare lt183, Fusarium oxysporum lt173, Paraconiothyrium brasiliense lt161 and C. montemartinii lt198 showed broad inhibition against the growth of all the six phytopathogens with the inhibition rates from 20 to 80%. These results indicated that endophytic fungi may play an important role in protection of the evergreen plants from disease as well as an excellent resource for searching for natural antifungal compounds.

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