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Abstract

FUNGAL ENDOPHYTES: A QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE STUDY IN ROOTS OF MEDICINAL PLANTS AS A SYMBIONT ASSOCIATION

Prasanna Srinivas R., Aruna J. and Amrita Nigam*

ABSTRACT

Fungal Endophytes are the fungi that harbor within plant tissues apparently forming mutualistic or symbiotic relationship. Endophytes associated with the roots of many medicinal plants are the potent producers of secondary metabolites which are novel compounds unexplored. The focus was to screen for antibacterial compounds from these endophytes that were isolated from medicinal plants. As a part of the project 25 plants were selected for the study, which belonged to Angiosperms with 23 different families. The Rhizosphere fungal microflora and endophytes were isolated on Potato dextrose agar and characterized them by morphological studies. A comparative study was done with different plants, their potential in supporting the endophytic fungi, the qualitative and quantitative fungal microflora in roots. The objective was to screen the types of fungal endophytes in commonly used medicinal plants in India. The study was also to understand host specificity –single and multiple host relationships. Endophytic fungal assemblages investigated in different plants belonging to diversified families showed the presence of 40% Penicillium, Gliocladium, Fusarium,Cladorrhiniumand Sterile mycelium;20 % Phoma, Chalaropsis, Fusarium and Bispora. The highest level of endophytic fungi was observed observed in Caesalpiniasappan and the lowest level was observed in Chamaecostuscuspidatus.

Keywords: Endophytic Fungi, Medicinal Plants, Fungal Diversity.


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