Horizontally transmitted fungal endophytes are an ecological group of fungi, mostly belonging to the Ascomycota, that reside in the aerial tissues and roots of plants without inducing any visual symptoms of their presence. These fungi appear to have a capacity to produce an array of secondary metabolites exhibiting a variety of biological activity. Although the ability of fungi to produce unique bioactive metabolites is well known, endophytes have not been exploited, perhaps because we are only beginning to understand their distribution and biology. This review emphasizes the need to routinely include endophytic fungi in the screening of organisms for bioactive metabolites and novel drugs; it also underscores the need to use information obtained concerning fungal secondary metabolite production from other groups of fungi for a targeted screening approach.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science