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Fungal endophytes for sustainable crop production

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 16:31 authored by Ben Lugtenberg, John CaradusJohn Caradus, Linda JohnsonLinda Johnson
In this mini-review we highlight the importance of endophytic fungi for agriculture and horticulture. Fungal endophytes play a key role in habitat adaptation of plants, in improving plant performance and plant protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. They appear to encode a vast variety of novel secondary metabolites, which includes volatile organic compounds. Some of these can protect plants against pathogens and pests. Results of fundamental research on fungal endophytes from wild plants and their metabolites have been used for astonishingly important applications, such as removing animal toxicities associated with fungal endophytes in temperate grasses, making cereals tolerant to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses, and management of post-harvest control. We argue that practices used in plant breeding, seed treatments, and agriculture, often caused by poor knowledge of the importance of fungal endophytes, are among the reasons for the loss or weakening of fungal endophytes in domesticated plants. We provide recommendations on how to decrease or avoid these negative impacts of modern agriculture.


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© FEMS 2016. All rights reserved.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


Oxford University Press

Journal title

FEMS Microbiology Ecology




Lugtenberg, B. J. J., Caradus, J. R., & Johnson, L. J. (2016). Fungal endophytes for sustainable crop production. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 92(12), fiw194. doi:10.1093/femsec/fiw194