Chapter

Endophytes of Forest Trees

Volume 80 of the series Forestry Sciences pp 265-294

Date:

Antimicrobial Compounds from Tree Endophytes

  • Anja SchuefflerAffiliated withInstitut für Biotechnologie und Wirkstoff-Forschung e.V. (Institute for Biotechnology and Drug Research) Email author 
  • , Timm AnkeAffiliated withInstitut für Biotechnologie und Wirkstoff-Forschung e.V. (Institute for Biotechnology and Drug Research)

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Abstract

Endophytes are organisms that live at least parts of their life cycle asymptomatically within the plant tissue. Endophytic fungi include new species as well as latent pathogens and dormant saprophytes. The estimated high species diversity of endophytes and their adaptation to various plant habitats presumes a rich and almost untapped source of new secondary metabolites, some of which might become useful leads for pharmaceutical or agricultural applications. Forests are large reservoirs for fungal diversity, covering 30.3% of the land area in the world. This chapter focuses on bioactive natural compounds, which were isolated from tree endophytes described from 2007 on. Furthermore, an overview is given on research efforts of pharmaceutically significant plant compounds produced by endophytic fungi, namely: taxol, camptothecin, as well as podophyllotoxin and derivatives. In addition, recent literature on endophytes and the biological activity of their extracts is cited.