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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341726

Research Project: Chemistry of Natural Products for Nutraceutical Use, Pest Management and Crop Development

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Antimycobacterial and antimalarial activities of endophytic fungi associated with the ancient and narrowly endemic neotropical plant Vellozia gigantea from Brazil

Author
item Ferreira, Mariana - Universidade Federal De Minas Gerais
item Cantrell, Charles
item Wedge, David
item Goncalves, Vivian - Universidade Federal De Minas Gerais
item Jacob, Melissa - University Of Mississippi
item Khan, Shabana - University Of Mississippi
item Rosa, Carlos - Universidade Federal De Minas Gerais
item Rosa, Luiz - Universidade Federal De Minas Gerais

Submitted to: Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2017
Publication Date: 9/28/2017
Citation: Ferreira, M.C., Cantrell, C.L., Wedge, D.E., Goncalves, V.N., Jacob, M.R., Khan, S., Rosa, C.A., Rosa, L.H. 2017. Antimycobacterial and antimalarial activities of endophytic fungi associated with the ancient and narrowly endemic neotropical plant Vellozia gigantea from Brazil. Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 112(10):692-697.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/0074-02760170144

Interpretive Summary: Endophytic fungi are an important source of bioactive metabolites, with a wide range of different biological activities. Brazil has a rich biodiversity of plant species, including those reported as being endemic. Among the endemic plants of the rupestrian grasslands, those of Velloziaceae occur at a high frequency. Vellozia gigantea N. L. Menezes & Mello-Silva (Velloziaceae), a recently described species, is considered to be threatened by extinction. In the present study, we focused on the search of the tropical endophytic fungi of V. gigantea as source of antimicrobial and antimalarial compounds to use as prototype molecules against neglected tropical diseases. One endophytic fungal species from V. gigantea, namely Diaporthe miriciae, yielded the compound epoxycytochalasin H with high antimalarial activity against the chloroquine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum, with an IC50 of about 3.5-fold lower than that with chloroquine. In conclusion, our results indicate that V. gigantea may represent a microhabitat repository hotspot of potential fungi producers of bioactive compounds and suggest that endophytic fungal communities might be an important biological component contributing to the fitness of the plants living in the rupestrian grassland.

Technical Abstract: The present study focused on the bioprospecting of bioactive compounds, of the endophytic fungi associated with Vellozia gigantea, an endemic, ancient, and endangered plant species that occurs only in the rupestrian grasslands of Brazil. Two hundred eighty-five fungal isolates were studied for their antimicrobial and antimalarial activities. Fungi were grown at solid state fermentation to recover their crude extracts in dichloromethane. Five fungi were able to produce antimicrobial and antimalarial compounds. Extracts of Diaporthe miriciae showed antifungal, antibacterial, and antimalarial activities; Trichoderma effusum displayed selective antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium intracellulare; and three Penicillium species showed antibacterial activity. From the chromatographic fractionation and NMR analysis D. miriciae extract was possible to detect the presence of highly functionalised secondary metabolites, yielding the compound epoxycytochalasin H with high antimalarial activity against the chloroquine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum, with an IC50 of about 3.5-fold lower than that with chloroquine. In conclusion, our results indicate that V. gigantea may represent a microhabitat repository hotspot of potential fungi producers of bioactive compounds and suggest that endophytic fungal communities might be an important biological component contributing to the fitness of the plants living in the rupestrian grassland.