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Current Perspectives of Endophytic Fungi in Sustainable Development

  • Rashmi Mishra
  • V. Venkateswara Sarma
Chapter

Abstract

Endophytic fungi inhabit plant tissues asymptomatically and confer a high diversity. They are polyphyletic in nature and primarily belong to the division Ascomycota. Endophytes are an important component of sustainable development in community ecology as they support the rich biodiversity and bioremediation of organic pollutants, wastewater, poisonous gases, industrial sewage, and heavy metals or in agricultural sufficiency. Endophytes are known to produce different kinds of secondary metabolites, and many of them are similar to what the host plants produce. Around 80% of the world’s population, mostly those in the developing countries, still rely on herbal medicines for their primary healthcare. Usage of plant sources for commercial production of bioactive compounds requires sacrifice of several trees to obtain satisfactory amounts. This is more so if they were to be isolated from endemic and endangered plant species. Such an aspect poses a grave threat to biodiversity conservation and forces us to go for a judicious usage of plant resources. Hence, production of bioactive compounds by the microorganisms that are intrinsic to the host plant tissues gives us hope. This is because microbial fermentation is comparably cheaper and economically stable and offers a sustainable source to pharmaceutical industries. In this chapter current perspectives of endophytic fungi in sustainable usage such as bioactive compounds of therapeutic use, biotransformations, plant defense and protection mechanisms, biocontrol, and crop production and in sustainable development including nutrient recycling and ecosystem functioning are reviewed and discussed.

Keywords

Endophytic fungi Nutrient recycling Antibiotics Biotransformation Biocontrol Bioactive compounds 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashmi Mishra
    • 1
  • V. Venkateswara Sarma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesPondicherry UniversityKalapetIndia

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