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Advances in Endophytic Research
DOI 10.1007/978-81-322-1575-2_14,
2014, Pages: 257-282

Biocontrol and Bioremediation: Two Areas of Endophytic Research Which Hold Great Promise

Mary Ruth Griffin

Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens, OH, 45701, USA.


Research into the beneficial use of endophytic organisms has dramatically increased worldwide in recent years. Endophytes are typically bacteria or fungi which colonize the internal tissues of plant hosts without causing visible negative effects. Two areas in endophyte research, which hold tremendous positive economic and environmental potential, are biocontrol and bioremediation. Biocontrol, short for biological control is the intentional use of a specific organism or their metabolic by-products to limit the harmful impact of a plant pest. Endophytes due to their unique symbiotic relationships within their hosts have the potential to directly act antagonistically against plant pests. In addition endophytes may also act indirectly against pests, benefitting their hosts by enhancing general plant growth or plant-protection responses, such as in the case of induced systemic resistance. Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms to alter or reduce the toxic impact of pollutants through various forms of metabolic activity. Microorganisms, in part due to their short life spans, can adapt relatively fast to environmental pollutants. Endophytes with these adaptations can in some cases provide their hosts with the capability to remediate their surrounding microenvironments. In this review, we will explore recent advances made in the promising areas of biocontrol and bioremediation research.

Keywords: bacteria or fungi; impact of a plant pest; environmental pollutantsenvironmental pollutants; biocontrol and bioremediation research.


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