Muscodor tigerii sp. nov.-Volatile antibiotic producing endophytic fungus from the Northeastern Himalayas
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Genus Muscodor came into existence with the discovery of Muscodor albus, a sterile endophytic fungus that produces a medley of volatile organic moieties possessing strong antimicrobial activity. The current paper reports Muscodor tigerii as a novel endophytic fungus from the stem internal tissue of Cinnamomum camphora growing in the Tiger Hill area of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. M. tigerii exhibited distinct morphological, molecular and physiological features than previously reported Muscodor species. The fungus possesses all the morphological features described till date in genus Muscodor making it remarkably unique. The strong fruity smell of the fungus is attributed to 22 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), predominantly 4-Octadecylmorpholine, 1-Tetradecanamine,N,N-dimethyl and 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, mono(2-ethylhexyl) ester. The in vitro VOC stress assay completely suppressed the growth of Alternaria alternata and Cercospora beticola while growth of other fungal species was inhibited in a range of 10 %-70 %. The growth of Candida albicans in the presence of VOC was reduced by 50 %-65 % while in bacteria 50 %-80 % reduction in growth was observed. Thus, M. tigerii stands as a potential candidate to be further developed into a biocontrol agent.
KeywordsAnamorphic fungus Tiger hills Cinnamomum camphora ITS-rDNA
The authors thank Department of Biotechnology (National Biodiversity Development Board) for financial assistance through project no. BT/PR/10083/NDB/52/95/2007. We also acknowledge Dr. Gary Strobel, MSU-Bozeman, USA for providing M. albus CZ620 type strain and constructive discussions. We extend our gratitude to Dr. AvneetPal Singh, Assistant Professor, Punjab University, Patiala, Punjab for his advice in taxonomic identification. We also gratefully acknowledge the help of Dr. Naresh M. Meshram and Ms. Salam Rita Devi, Division of Entomology, IARI, PUSA, New Delhi for SEM analysis and Shri Ajay Kumar from ARIF, JNU, New Delhi for GC/MS analysis.
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