Research Article

Molecular characterization by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis and antimicrobial potential of endophytic fungi isolated from Luehea divaricata (Malvaceae) against plant pathogenic fungi and pathogenic bacteria

Published: October 29, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (4) : 5072-5084 DOI: 10.4238/2013.October.29.2

Abstract

Luehea divaricata is an important plant in popular medicine; it is used for its depurative, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic activities. We evaluated the antimicrobial activity of endophytic fungi isolated from leaves of L. divaricata against phytopathogens and pathogenic bacteria, and characterized the isolates based on amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA). The in vitro antagonistic activity of these endophytes against the phytopathogen Alternaria alternata was assayed by dual culture technique. Based on this evaluation of antimicrobial activity, we extracted secondary metabolites from nine endophytic fungi by partitioning in ethyl acetate and methanol. These were tested against the phytopathogens A. alternata, Colletotrichum sp and Moniliophthora perniciosa, and against the human pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Molecular characterization by ARDRA technique was used for phylogenetic analysis, based on comparison with sequences in GenBank. The endophytes had varied effects on A. alternata. One isolate produced an inhibition halo against M. perniciosa and against E. coli. This antibiosis activity indicates a role in the protection of the plant against microbial pathogens in nature, with potential for pharmaceutical and agricultural applications. Based on ARDRA, the 13 isolates were grouped. We found three different haplotypes of Phomopsis sp, showing interspecific variability. It appears that examination of the microbial community associated with medicinal plants of tropical regions has potential as a useful strategy to look for species with biotechnological applications.

Luehea divaricata is an important plant in popular medicine; it is used for its depurative, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic activities. We evaluated the antimicrobial activity of endophytic fungi isolated from leaves of L. divaricata against phytopathogens and pathogenic bacteria, and characterized the isolates based on amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA). The in vitro antagonistic activity of these endophytes against the phytopathogen Alternaria alternata was assayed by dual culture technique. Based on this evaluation of antimicrobial activity, we extracted secondary metabolites from nine endophytic fungi by partitioning in ethyl acetate and methanol. These were tested against the phytopathogens A. alternata, Colletotrichum sp and Moniliophthora perniciosa, and against the human pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Molecular characterization by ARDRA technique was used for phylogenetic analysis, based on comparison with sequences in GenBank. The endophytes had varied effects on A. alternata. One isolate produced an inhibition halo against M. perniciosa and against E. coli. This antibiosis activity indicates a role in the protection of the plant against microbial pathogens in nature, with potential for pharmaceutical and agricultural applications. Based on ARDRA, the 13 isolates were grouped. We found three different haplotypes of Phomopsis sp, showing interspecific variability. It appears that examination of the microbial community associated with medicinal plants of tropical regions has potential as a useful strategy to look for species with biotechnological applications.