Muhammad Ikram*, Niaz Ali, Gul Jan, Farzana G. Jan and Naeem Khan Pages 115 - 123 ( 9 )
Endophytic fungi are an interesting group of organisms that colonize the healthy internal tissues of living plants, and do not cause any symptoms of disease in the host plants. Several decades of study and research have rustled the co-existing endophytes with their host plants, which can significantly influence the formation of metabolic products in plants, as they have the ability to produce a new interesting bioactive compound, which is of pharmaceutical, industrial and agricultural importance. Empirical evidences have indicated that endophytic fungi can confer profound impacts on plant communities by enhancing their growth, increasing their fitness, strengthening their tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses, enhancing the defense mechanism and promoting the accumulation of secondary metabolites that provide immunity against pathogens. Many of these compounds are novel products and could be granted patents. Further, there are growing interests of multinational companies using these patents prepared in special formula to sell in international markets. This review addresses biodiversity and biological roles of endophytic fungi in association with their host plants through reviewing published research data obtained from the last 30 years and highlights their importance for plants, industry as well as ecosystem.
Biodiversity, symbiosis, abiotic stresses, pathogenic defense, bioactive compounds, endophytic fungi.
Department of Botany, Hazara University, Mansehra, Department of Botany, Hazara University, Mansehra, Department of Botany, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Department of Botany, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Department of Plant Scienes, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad