Bioprospecting of endophytes in medicinal plants of Thar Desert: An attractive resource for biopharmaceuticals

Biotechnol Rep (Amst). 2021 May 24:30:e00629. doi: 10.1016/j.btre.2021.e00629. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Endophytes live asymptomatically within the healthy tissues of plant parts of the host, has grabbed the attention of ecologists, chemists, and researchers to have a broad spectral of biotechnological potential. It has been proven that almost all plants harbor endophytes within themselves. Numerous studies indicated that endophytes act as chemical synthesizers of the secondary metabolites of their host plant. Various medicinal plants of the Thar Desert have been used by the local folks of the Rajasthan to treat several diseases ailments for time immemorial. On the basis of their prior knowledge of ethnopharmacological usage of medicinally important plants of Thar Desert, several researchers directed their studies in search of endophytic microflora of such medicinally important plants for the discovery of novel bioactive molecules of pharmaceutical importance, for instance, taxol producing endophytic fungus Phoma sp. isolated from Calotropis gigantea as well as Aspergillus fumigatus, an endophytic fungus reported from Moringa oleifera demonstrated an effective antibiofilm, antimicrobial and antiproliferative activity. This review sheds light on the endophytic microflora of the ethnomedicinal plants of the Thar Desert and their biopotential as a promising source of pharmaceutically important naturally derived compounds.

Keywords: Bioactive molecules; Biopotential; CF, Colonization frequency; DDW, Double distilled water; Endomicrobial diversity; Endophytes; EtOAc, Ethyl acetate; ISM, Indian summer monsoon; ITS, Internal transcribed spacer; MIC, Minimum inhibitory concentration; Medicinal plants; PDA, Potato dextrose agar; SCA, Starch casein agar; Vegetation.

Publication types

  • Review