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Open AccessArticle

Isolation and Characterization of Fungal Endophytes Isolated from Medicinal Plant Ephedra pachyclada as Plant Growth-Promoting

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Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Nasr City, Cairo 11884, Egypt
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Biology Department, College of Science, Taibah University, Yanbu 41911, Saudi Arabia
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Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Al Madinah P.O. Box 887, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Biotechnology, College of Science, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
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Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Sharkia, Egypt
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Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
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Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Delphine Vincent, Dominique Job and Maryam Rafiqi
Biomolecules 2021, 11(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020140
Received: 25 December 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 19 January 2021 / Published: 22 January 2021
Endophytic fungi are widely present in internal plant tissues and provide different benefits to their host. Medicinal plants have unexplored diversity of functional fungal association; therefore, this study aimed to isolate endophytic fungi associated with leaves of medicinal plants Ephedra pachyclada and evaluate their plant growth-promoting properties. Fifteen isolated fungal endophytes belonging to Ascomycota, with three different genera, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus, were obtained from healthy leaves of E. pachyclada. These fungal endophytes have varied antimicrobial activity against human pathogenic microbes and produce ammonia and indole acetic acid (IAA), in addition to their enzymatic activity. The results showed that Penicillium commune EP-5 had a maximum IAA productivity of 192.1 ± 4.04 µg mL−1 in the presence of 5 µg mL−1 tryptophan. The fungal isolates of Penicillium crustosum EP-2, Penicillium chrysogenum EP-3, and Aspergillus flavus EP-14 exhibited variable efficiency for solubilizing phosphate salts. Five representative fungal endophytes of Penicillium crustosum EP-2, Penicillium commune EP-5, Penicillium caseifulvum EP-11, Alternaria tenuissima EP-13, and Aspergillus flavus EP-14 and their consortium were selected and applied as bioinoculant to maize plants. The results showed that Penicillium commune EP-5 increased root lengths from 15.8 ± 0.8 to 22.1 ± 0.6. Moreover, the vegetative growth features of inoculated maize plants improved more than the uninoculated ones. View Full-Text
Keywords: endophytic fungi; Ephedra pachyclada; Ascomycota; plant growth-promoting; bioactive metabolites; Zea mays L. endophytic fungi; Ephedra pachyclada; Ascomycota; plant growth-promoting; bioactive metabolites; Zea mays L.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khalil, A.M.A.; Hassan, S.E.-D.; Alsharif, S.M.; Eid, A.M.; Ewais, E.E.-D.; Azab, E.; Gobouri, A.A.; Elkelish, A.; Fouda, A. Isolation and Characterization of Fungal Endophytes Isolated from Medicinal Plant Ephedra pachyclada as Plant Growth-Promoting. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020140

AMA Style

Khalil AMA, Hassan SE-D, Alsharif SM, Eid AM, Ewais EE-D, Azab E, Gobouri AA, Elkelish A, Fouda A. Isolation and Characterization of Fungal Endophytes Isolated from Medicinal Plant Ephedra pachyclada as Plant Growth-Promoting. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(2):140. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020140

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khalil, Ahmed M.A.; Hassan, Saad E.-D.; Alsharif, Sultan M.; Eid, Ahmed M.; Ewais, Emad E.-D.; Azab, Ehab; Gobouri, Adil A.; Elkelish, Amr; Fouda, Amr. 2021. "Isolation and Characterization of Fungal Endophytes Isolated from Medicinal Plant Ephedra pachyclada as Plant Growth-Promoting" Biomolecules 11, no. 2: 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11020140

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