Biodiversity of endophytic fungi associated with 29 traditional Chinese medicinal plants

W. Y. Huang, Y. Z. Cai, K. D. Hyde, H. Corke, M. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Scopus citations


Endophytic fungi residing in medicinal plants have not been systematically characterized. In this study, we classified 1160 fungal isolates from 29 medicinal plant species using traditional morphological methods. The colonization rate, isolation rate, and relative frequency of these endophytes were investigated. The relationship between the composition of endophytic fungi and the chemical constituents of host plants was also explored for the first time. The results showed that endophytic fungi.from these medicinal plants exhibited high biodiversity, host-recurrence, tissue-specificity, and spatial heterogeneity. Taxa of Alternaria, Colletotrichum, Phoma, Phomopsis, Xylariales, and mycelia sterilia were the dominant fungal endophytes. Some phenolic compounds were found to more likely coexist with certain endophytic fungi in the same plants. Our systematic investigation reveals that traditional medicinal plants are a rich and reliable source of novel endophytic fungi. This study was the first step towards understanding host-endophyte relationships based on the plant chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalFungal Diversity
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity
  • Endophytic fungi
  • Host-endophyte relationships, host-preference, medicinal plants, plant chemistry, spatial heterogeneity, tissue-specificity


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