Antimicrobial Activity of Cultivable Endophytic and Rhizosphere Fungi Associated with "Mile-a-Minute," Mikania cordata (Asteraceae).Biomed Res Int. 2020; 2020:5292571.BR
Endophytic and rhizosphere fungi are understood to be aiding the host plant to overcome a range of biotic and abiotic stresses (nutrition depletion, droughts, etc.) hence, they remain to be reservoirs of plethora of natural products with immense use. Consequently, this investigation of endophytic and rhizosphere fungi isolated from Mikania cordata (a perennial vine that is well established in Sri Lanka) for their antimicrobial properties was performed with the aim of future derivation of potential beneficial pharmaceutical products. Leaves, twigs, and roots of M. cordata were utilized to isolate a total of 9 endophytic fungi out of which the highest amount (44%) accounted was from the twigs. A sample of the immediate layer of soil adhering to the root of M. cordata was utilized to isolate 15 rhizosphere fungi. Fusarium equiseti and Phoma medicaginis were endophytes that were identified based on colony and molecular characteristics. The broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity depicted by F. equiseti (MK517551) was found to be significantly greater (p ≤ 0.05, inhibitory against Bacillus cereus ATCC 11778, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 25853) than P. medicaginis (MK517550) (inhibitory against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 25853) as assessed using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. Trichoderma virens and Trichoderma asperellum were rhizospere fungi that exhibited remarkable antimicrobial properties against the test pathogens chosen for the study. T. asperellum indicated significantly greater bioactivity against all four bacterial pathogens and Candida albicans ATCC 10231 under study. The ranges of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the fungi depicting antimicrobial properties were determined. The results obtained suggest that F. equiseti, P. medicaginis, T. asperellum, and T. virens of M. cordata harness bioprospective values as natural drug candidates. This is the first report on isolation and evaluation of the antimicrobial properties of endophytic and rhizosphere fungi of Mikania cordata.