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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Biosynthesis of natural products in plants by fungal endophytes with an emphasis on swainsonine

Authors
item Cook, Daniel
item Gardner, Dale
item Pfister, James
item Grum, Daniel

Submitted to: Recent Advances in Phytochemistry
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Plant natural products are frequently used as chemotaxonomic markers which are indicative of select members of a family, genus, and/or species. However, the erratic occurrence of some natural products raises questions about their biosynthetic origin and significance as chemotaxonomic markers. Recent research has shown that fungal endophytes associated with plants are a rich source of natural products. The objective of this review is to highlight natural products found in plants that are reported to be derived from fungal endophytes, and when appropriate, briefly comment on the plant-endophyte interaction. We will summarize current knowledge on alkaloids synthesized by Clavicipitaceae endophytes, then on other diverse secondary metabolites including taxol and camptothecin. Specifically, we will highlight the role that fungal endophytes play in the synthesis of the indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine, and the interaction between host and endophyte.

Technical Abstract: Plant natural products are frequently used as chemotaxonomic markers which are indicative of select members of a family, genus, and/or species. However, the erratic occurrence of some natural products raises questions about their biosynthetic origin and significance as chemotaxonomic markers. Recent research has shown that fungal endophytes associated with plants are a rich source of natural products. The objective of this review is to highlight natural products found in plants that are reported to be derived from fungal endophytes, and when appropriate, briefly comment on the plant-endophyte interaction. We will summarize current knowledge on alkaloids synthesized by Clavicipitaceae endophytes, then on other diverse secondary metabolites including taxol and camptothecin. Specifically, we will highlight the role that fungal endophytes play in the synthesis of the indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine, and the interaction between host and endophyte.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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