Production of extracellular siderophores is typical for many plant-associated microbes, both mutualistic and antagonistic. Various strains of mycorrhizal fungi produce siderophores, and siderophore production by pathogenic fungi is typically associated with virulence. We analyzed extracellular siderophore production along with production of antibacterial and antioxidant compounds in foliar endophytic fungi of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Labrador tea (Rhododendron tomentosum Harmaja). The siderophore produced in vitro was ferricrocin, quantities ranging between 7.9 and 17.6 μg/l. Only the fungi with antibacterial activity produced ferricrocin and any well-known siderophores were not detected in the broths of antioxidant-producing fungi. Therefore, production of ferricrocin is typical for some, but not all foliar endophytic fungi. Ferricrocin was detected in the leaves of Labrador tea, which suggests that ferricrocin may play a role in vivo in the interaction between the endophyte and plant host.
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