Epichloë endophytes in forage grasses have attracted widespread attention and interest of chemistry researchers as a result of the various unique chemical structures and interesting biological activities of their secondary metabolites. This review describes the diversity of unique chemical structures of taxa from Epichloë endophytes and grass infected with Epichloë endophytes and demonstrates their reported biological activities. Until now, nearly 160 secondary metabolites (alkaloids, peptides, indole derivatives, pyrimidines, sesquiterpenoids, flavonoids, phenol and phenolic acid derivatives, aliphatic metabolites, sterols, amines and amides, and others) have been reported from Epichloë endophytes and grass infected with Epichloë endophytes. Among these, non-alkaloids account for half of the population of total metabolites, indicating that they also play an important role in Epichloë endophytes and grass infected with Epichloë endophytes. Also, a diverse array of secondary metabolites isolated from Epichloë endophytes and symbionts is a rich source for developing new pesticides and drugs. Bioassays disclose that, in addition to toxic alkaloids, the other metabolites isolated from Epichloë endophytes and symbionts have notable biological activities, such as antifungal, anti-insect, and phytotoxic activities. Accordingly, the biological functions of non-alkaloids should not be neglected in the future investigation of Epichloë endophytes and symbionts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31901388), the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Herbal Medicine in Gansu Province (18JR4RA003), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (lzujbky-2018-2), and a grant from State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems (Lanzhou University).
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article