Identification and Antibacterial Characterization of Endophytic Fungi from <em>Artemisia sieberi</em>
Int J Microbiol. 2021 Mar 5;2021:6651020. doi: 10.1155/2021/6651020. eCollection 2021.
Endophytic fungi serve as a reservoir for important secondary metabolites. The current study focused on the antibacterial properties of endophytic fungi isolated from Artemisia sieberi. Initially, six endophytic fungi were isolated and purified from the stem of A. sieberi. Endophytic fungi were identified by morphological characteristics, as well as by molecular identification using 18S rRNA gene sequencing method. All the six isolates were subjected to the preliminary screening for their antibacterial activity against nine important pathogenic bacteria using the disk-diffusion method. Crude extracts of the most active isolate were obtained using ethyl acetate. Antibacterial activity of the ethyl acetate extract was evaluated using well diffusion method on the selected isolate. The antibacterial efficiency of the selected isolate was evaluated by determining the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). MIC values were in appreciable quantity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria ranging from 3.125 to 6.25 µg/mL and 12.5 to 50 µg/mL, respectively. This result indicated that Gram-positive bacteria were more susceptible to the endophytic fungi extract. Moreover, the molecular identification results revealed that all the isolates belong to Ascomycota and represented Aspergillus and Penicillium genera and three species: A. oryzae (three isolates), A. niger (one isolate), and P. chrysogenum (two isolates). All six endophytic fungi were able to inhibit the growth of at least two of the tested bacteria. Among the isolated strains, isolate AS2, which identified as P. chrysogenum, exhibited the highest antibacterial activity against all nine tested bacteria and was higher than or equal to the positive control against most of the tested bacteria. Future studies are required to isolate and identify these bioactive substances, which can be considered as a potential source for the synthesis of new antibacterial drugs to treat infectious diseases.