Sustainable Use of Microbial Endophytes pp. 105-128
Authors: (Devendra Kumar Choudhary, Department of Science, Faculty of Arts, Science & Commerce (FASC), Mody Institute of Science & technology (MITS), Lakshmangarh, Sikar, Rajasthan, India)
Abstract: In the past two decades, a great deal of information on the potential role of endophytes in nature has been collected. Endophytes, microorganisms that colonize internal host tissues of living plants are a relatively unstudied and dependable source of bioactive and chemically novel compounds with potential for exploitation in a wide variety of medical and pharmacological areas. The mechanism through which endophytes exist and respond to their surroundings must be better understood. In most cases their relationship with the host plant is symbiotic and probably mutualistic. Many are capable of synthesizing bio-active compounds that can be used by the plant for defense against pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Some of these compounds have proven useful for novel drug discovery. The opportunity to find new and interesting endophytes among myriad plants is great. Endophytes represent a huge diversity of microbial adaptations that have developed in special and sequestered environments, and their diversity and specialized habituation make them an exciting field of study in the search for new medicines. The hunt for new drugs is particularly important in view of the fact that so many diseases are developing immunity to some of the current treatments. This review will concentrate on what has been discovered, and what is still unknown about endophytes that synthesize chemicals with bioactive properties.