Recent Advances in Research on Cannabis sativa L. Endophytes and Their Prospect for the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Parijat Kusari
  • Michael Spiteller
  • Oliver Kayser
  • Souvik KusariEmail author


Endophytic microorganisms residing within plants are constantly communicating with them and the external environment by means of various interaction mechanisms and biochemical processes. Although plants have evolved their own defense mechanisms, sometimes they fail to defend themselves from the constant attack of devastating and emerging pathogens. Thus, research involving endophytes that aid the defense responses of their host plants can be useful in biocontrol and pest management strategies. Elucidating the chemistry of endophyte–plant interactions can provide new insights into the production of target and/or nontarget metabolites, thereby enabling a better understanding of the metabolic processes in planta and ex planta. In this chapter, we highlight the interactions of endophytes harbored in the medicinally important plant Cannabis sativa L. with the host plant as well as with the pathogens. The various endophyte–plant–pathogen defense–counter defense crosstalk would aid in exploring the biocontrol potential of endophytes in thwarting pathogens attacking the plants, and thus, effectively decrease the loss of such therapeutically relevant medicinal plants. Such interactions will further lead to the discovery of bioactive compounds, including the ones exclusive to the host plants. This chapter deals with the recent advances made in bioprospecting endophytes harbored in C. sativa L. with regard to their efficacies in thwarting phytopathogens. When endophytes are challenged with host-specific phytopathogens, they show an assortment of physical and chemical defense responses under different media conditions. This supports the concept of one strain many compounds (OSMAC) approach. Using cues from the current investigation, future research can maximize the possibility of a holistic understanding of endophyte–endophyte, endophyte–plant, and endophyte–pathogen relationships.


Fungal endophytes Bioprospecting Biocontrol Phytocannabinoids Medicinal Plants 



Research at the Institute of Environmental Research (INFU) of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is supported by the International Bureau (IB) of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF/DLR), Germany, the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD; “Welcome to Africa” initiative), and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). S. K. gratefully acknowledges M. S. for approving and authorizing, Gail M. Preston for hosting, and TU Dortmund for supporting his stay at the University of Oxford, UK, as a Visiting Researcher. Research at the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering is supported by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia and the CLIB-Graduate Cluster Industrial Biotechnology (CLIB). We are thankful to Bedrocan BV for kindly providing us with the Cannabis sativa L. plants.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parijat Kusari
    • 1
  • Michael Spiteller
    • 2
  • Oliver Kayser
    • 1
  • Souvik Kusari
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemical and Chemical EngineeringTU DortmundDortmundGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Research (INFU), Department of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyTU DortmundDortmundGermany
  3. 3.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom

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