Diversity studies of endophytic assemblages are emerging challenges, which unveil novel phenotypes producing interesting chemical entities and a better understanding of their ecological significance. In the present investigation, we selected an extremely complex and unique environment supporting unexplored endophytes, 'Macroalgae of Kerala coast, India'. Unlike terrestrial flora and mangroves, reports displaying endophytic assemblages of marine flora remain limited, especially from India. The main goal of this study was to expose hidden endophytic fungi from macroalgae and examination of their bioactive potential. An ecological investigation of four red, four green and three brown algae resulted in 133 fungal taxa with 29 distinct morphospecies. Aspergillus and Penicillium were found to be the dominant genera. Penicillium chrysogenum was the sole fungi that contributed 11% of the entire endophytic community. Antimicrobial activity against various aquaculture/human pathogens revealed that around 59% of endophytes inhibited at least one of the pathogens screened. The maximum number of isolates (37%) inhibited Escherichia coli tailed by Aspergillus fumigatus (27%). Antimicrobial profile of fungal endophytes endorses them as a potential source of bioactive molecules that can be explored to find a solution for drug resistance in microbial pathogens.
Keywords: antimicrobial; bioactive compound; endophytic fungi; fungal diversity; macroalgae.
© FEMS 2020.