Endophytic microbes

Mariusz Tadych, James F. White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In nature, living plants are colonized by plurality of microorganisms. The degree of microbial colonization of living host plants varies according to the species. When the microorganisms colonize a host plant and the host tissue is apparently healthy, the relationship between the microorganism and its host may range from latent pathogenesis to mutualistic symbiosis. The microorganisms may be epiphytes, endophytes, or latent pathogens. Microorganisms that under normal circumstances are contained within tissues of living autotrophic organisms without causing any noticeable symptoms of disease are described as endophytes. However, the same organisms may also be saprobes or pathogens at another time. Microbial endophytes have been isolated from tissues of many living organisms, including algae, mosses and hepatics, ferns and fern allies, grasses, herbaceous plants, and trees growing in tropical, temperate, boreal, and arctic environments. Generally, endophytic microorganisms are present within tissues of most parts of host plants. The associations of endophytic organisms with their host plants are varied and complex. Endophytic microbial organisms often contribute to the normal health and development of their host plants in exchange for a relatively privileged niche. Some groups of endophytic microorganisms have been described as mutualists that protect plants against biotic stresses. Endophytes contribute to and may also be responsible for the adaptation of host plants to environmental stresses. During the last three decades endophytes have been targeted as valuable sources of new bioactive compounds and secondary metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Microbiology
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128117378
ISBN (Print)9780128117361
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


  • Alkaloids
  • Auxin
  • Balansia
  • Clavicipitaceae
  • Defensive mutualism
  • Ecology
  • Endobiont
  • Endophyte
  • Epibiont
  • Epichloë
  • Epiphyllous
  • Epiphyte
  • Fescue toxicosis
  • L-forms
  • Locoism
  • Mycosomes
  • Rhizophagy cycle
  • Taxol
  • VOC


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