Translating Endophyte Research to Applications: Prospects and Challenges

  • Trichur Subramanian Suryanarayanan
  • Venkat Gopalan
  • Ramanan Uma Shaanker
  • Anindita Sengupta
  • Gudasalamani Ravikanth


The horizontally transmitted fungal endophytes cause symptomless infections of plants. Endophytes synthesize a diverse array of metabolites and enzymes, an attribute that reflects their milieu: the host plant and co-occurring microbes. We illustrate the versatility and utility of endophytes by highlighting examples of how they enhance plant tolerance to abiotic/biotic stressors, produce biomolecules with unique molecular architectures, and elaborate novel enzymes of industrial importance. After considering the challenges that have retarded the translation of these findings to payoffs, we suggest future directions, including the need to understand the ecology and in planta community structure of endophytes, to help fully realize their technological potential.


Fungal endophytes Bioactive molecules Stress tolerance Abiotic stress Biotic stress Industrial enzymes Lignocellulosic biomass 



TSS and RUS thank the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, for funding several research projects on endophytes. VG and AS gratefully acknowledge the support from the Center for Applied Plant Sciences, The Ohio State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trichur Subramanian Suryanarayanan
    • 1
  • Venkat Gopalan
    • 2
  • Ramanan Uma Shaanker
    • 3
  • Anindita Sengupta
    • 2
  • Gudasalamani Ravikanth
    • 4
  1. 1.Vivekananda Institute of Tropical Mycology (VINSTROM)ChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of Crop Physiology and School of Ecology and ConservationUniversity of Agricultural SciencesBengaluruIndia
  4. 4.Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Royal EnclaveBengaluruIndia

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