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Fungi Bio-Prospects in Sustainable Agriculture, Environment and Nano-technology
2021, Pages 381-401

Role of the endogenous fungal metabolites in the plant growth improvement and stress tolerance

Pooja Sharma1, Surendra Pratap Singh2

Department of Environmental Microbiology, School for Environmental Sciences, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Central University, Lucknow, India.


An endophyte is a microbe that lives inside the host plants for part of its life but does not cause any kind of disease or infection. Plants are continuously faced with a wide range of abiotic and biotic stresses due to various types of stress by pollutants and the environment that directly affect their growth and development. Besides, protective endophytes increase host plant growth, increase plant nutrient uptake, prevent plant pathogen development, reduce disease severity, and increase tolerance to environmental stress. Endophytes are mainly mutually beneficial fungi that live within plant tissue and promote plant growth under stress conditions. Fungi are extraordinary species that easily generate a wide range of natural ingredients, sometimes referred to as secondary metabolites, and other biochemicals which are useful to increase the fertility of the soil. The endophyte-mediated resistance to plant stress plays a major role in plant–microbe interactions. In this chapter, the support for fungal endophyte-mediated stress tolerance and related mechanisms is discussed. The knowledge from this chapter will encourage the scientific community to establish effective biotechnological approaches to the use of endophyte microbes to enhance plant growth under various stress environments.

Keywords: Endophytic fungi, metabolites, plant stress tolerance, plant growth, development.

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