Fungal endophytes and their interaction with plant pathogens: a review

I. Zabalgogeazcoa

Abstract


Endophytes are fungi which infect plants without causing symptoms. Fungi belonging to this group are ubiquitous, and plant species not associated to fungal endophytes are not known. In addition, there is a large biological diversity among endophytes, and it is not rare for some plant species to be hosts of more than one hundred different endophytic species. Different mechanisms of transmission, as well as symbiotic lifestyles occur among endophytic species. Latent pathogens seem to represent a relatively small proportion of endophytic assemblages, also composed by latent saprophytes and mutualistic species. Some endophytes are generalists, being able to infect a wide range of hosts, while others are specialists, limited to one or a few hosts. Endophytes are gaining attention as a subject for research and applications in Plant Pathology. This is because in some cases plants associated to endophytes have shown increased resistance to plant pathogens, particularly fungi and nematodes. Several possible mechanisms by which endophytes may interact with pathogens are discussed in this review.

Keywords


PLANTS; FUNGI; ENDOPHYTES; SYMBIOSIS; PATHOGENS; HOST PATHOGEN RELATIONS; BIOLOGICAL CONTROL

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/200806S1-382