Endophytic fungal communities and their biotechnological implications for agro-environmental sustainability
Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2022 Feb 4. doi: 10.1007/s12223-021-00939-0. Online ahead of print.
Endophytic fungal communities have attracted a great attention to chemists, ecologists, and microbiologists as a treasure trove of biological resource. Endophytic fungi play incredible roles in the ecosystem including abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, eco-adaptation, enhancing growth and development, and maintaining the health of their host. In recent times, endophytic fungi have drawn a special focus owing to their indispensable diversity, unique distribution, and unparalleled metabolic pathways. The endophytic fungal communities belong to three phyla, namely Mucoromycota, Basidiomycota, and Ascomycota with seven predominant classes Agaricomycetes, Dothideomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Mortierellomycotina, Mucoromycotina, Saccharomycetes, and Sordariomycetes. In a review of a huge number of research finding, it was found that endophytic fungal communities of genera Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Fusarium, Gaeumannomyces, Metarhizium, Microsphaeropsis, Paecilomyces, Penicillium, Piriformospora, Talaromyces, Trichoderma, Verticillium, and Xylaria have been sorted out and well characterized for diverse biotechnological applications for future development. Furthermore, these communities are remarkable source of novel bioactive compounds with amazing biological activity for use in agriculture, food, and pharmaceutical industry. Endophytes are endowed with a broad range of structurally unique bioactive natural products, including alkaloids, benzopyranones, chinones, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and quinines. Subsequently, there is still an excellent opportunity to explore novel compounds from endophytic fungi among numerous plants inhabiting different niches. Furthermore, high-throughput sequencing could be a tool to study interaction between plants and endophytic fungi which may provide further opportunities to reveal unknown functions of endophytic fungal communities. The present review deals with the biodiversity of endophytic fungal communities and their biotechnological implications for agro-environmental sustainability.