African Journal of Ecology and Ecosystems ISSN 2756-3367 Vol. 8 (4), pp. 001-013, April, 2021. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Diversity and antimicrobial activity of fungal endophyte communities associated with plants of Brazilian savanna ecosystems

Aline B. M. Vaz1, Luciana R. Brandão1, Mariana L. A. Vieira1, Raphael S. Pimenta2, Paula B. Morais2, Marcos E. G. Sobral3, Luiz H. Rosa1 and Carlos A. Rosa1*

1Departamento de Microbiologia, ICB, C. P. 486, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, 31270-901, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

2Laboratório de Microbiologia Ambiental e Biologia, Campus Universitário de Palmas, Fundação Universidade Federal

de Tocantins, Palmas, Tocantins, 77020-210, Brazil.

3Departamento de Ciências Naturais, Universidade Federal de São João Del-Rei, São João Del-Rei, 36301-160, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Accepted 04 December, 2020


Fungal endophyte communities associated with leaves of Myrciaria floribunda, Alchornea castaneifolia, and Eugenia aff. bimarginata were examined, collected from Brazilian Cerrado ecosystems, and studied for their ability to produce antimicrobial activity. A total of 93 isolates of endophytic fungi were obtained and identified by sequencing of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the rRNA gene, which revealed the presence of 20 Ascomycota and three Basidiomycota taxa. The genus Colletotrichum is the most frequent endophyte associated with M. floribunda and A. castaneifolia. Mycosphaerella is the most frequent genus associated with E. aff. bimarginata. All fungal endophytic isolates were cultured and the crude extracts were screened to examine the antimicrobial activities against pathogenic microorganisms. Thirty-eight fungal extracts presented antimicrobial activity against at least one of the different target microorganisms tested. Emericellopsis donezkii and Colletotrichum gloesporioides showed the best minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values, which were lower or similar to MICs of known antibacterial and antifungal drugs. Our results suggest that the plants of Brazilian Cerrado shelter a diverse endophytic fungal community, which includes bioactive taxa capable of producing promising antimicrobial metabolites.

Key words: Antifungal and antibacterial activities, Cerrado ecosystem, endophytic fungi, fungal ecology.