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Tropical forests are storehouses of diverse life forms. Plants of these forests display huge wealth of diverse chemical molecules
of medicinal value. The microbes residing within plant tissues ?the endophytes? are also important sources of secondary
metabolites with immense implications in agriculture and medicine. Several compounds with anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-
diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial, insecticidal and immunosuppressive activities have been discovered to be produced
by endophytes. Tabernaemontana heyneana Wall. a medicinal tree, endemic to Western Ghats with rich ethnobotanical history
and unique chemical diversity was selected to study fungal endophytes and evaluate them for L-asparaginase activity. Fresh and
healthy bark, twig, leaf and leaf samples were used for isolation of endophytes following standard isolation protocols. A total of
783 isolates belonging to 24 taxa were obtained. 9.2% comprised of bark isolates, 24.65% twig isolates, 34.22% leaf isolates, 15.60%
fruit isolates and 16.35% of isolates from seeds. Colletotrichum, Curvularia, Fusarium, Phomopsis, Verticillium, Aspergillus,
and Volutella were some of the fungal genera obtained as endophytes. Fusarium sp., Phomopsis sp.1, Thlf01, Phomopsis sp.3
and Fusarium solani were dominant genera of bark, twig, leaf, fruit and seed samples respectively. Nine endophytic fungi were
positive for the enzyme activity with Fusarium sp. and Volutella sp. showing good activity. Results indicate that endophytic fungi
are potential sources of L-asparaginase enzyme used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
I am Manasa, pursuing M.Phil. degree from University of Mysore, Department of Studies in Botany, Mysore, Karnataka under the guidance of Dr.
M .S. Nalini, Assistant Professor, University of Mysore. I secured Third Rank in Master of Science for securing highest mark in the university. I have
attended the South Zone Conference on Fungal Diversity and Emerging Crop Diseases in the year 2011 organized by Indian Society of Mycology
and Plant Pathology, Udaipur
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