Endophytes from traditionally used medicinal plants found in new Brunswick, Canada

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University of New Brunswick


Fungal endophytes were isolated from the leaves or needles of twelve Canadian medicinal plants. A total of 96 distinct endophytic isolates were obtained and DNA sequencing identified 55 fungal species from 35 genera. Additionally, five endophytes were identified to the phylum Ascomycota and three endophytes did not have a close match in the BLAST database, suggesting that these were previously uncultured fungi. The remaining 33 unidentified endophytes were given codes and descriptions based on their morphology. Endophytes were fermented and two extracts of each isolate were obtained from fungal material and culture broth. Cytotoxicity and antibiotic bioassays performed on all extracts revealed that 18 endophytes displayed significant cytotoxicity, 11 showed antifungal activity, and eight displayed antibacterial activity. Future work should focus on screening of the endophyte extracts in further bioassays (e.g. anti-tuberculosis and anti-cancer assays) and bioassay-guided fractionation of the bioactive extracts.