Chemoprofile and functional diversity of fungal and bacterial endophytes and role of ecofactors - a review.
Endophytes represent a hidden world within plants. Almost all plants that are studied harbor one or more endophytes, which help their host to survive against pathogens and changing adverse environmental conditions. Fungal and bacterial endophytes with distinct ecological niches show important biological activities and ecological functions. Their unique physiological and biochemical characteristics lead to the production of niche specific secondary metabolites that may have pharmacological potential. Identification of specific secondary metabolites in adverse environment can also help us in understanding mechanisms of host tolerance against stress condition such as biological invasions, salt, drought, temperature. These metabolites include micro as well as macromolecules, which they produce through least studied yet surprising mechanisms like xenohormesis, toxin-antitoxin system, quorum sensing. Therefore, future studies should focus on unfolding all the underlying molecular mechanisms as well as the impact of physical and biochemical environment of a specific host over endophytic function and metabolite elicitation. Need of the hour is to reshape the focus of research over endophytes and scientifically drive their ecological role toward prospective pharmacological as well as eco-friendly biological applications. This may help to manage these endophytes especially from untapped ecoregions as a useful undying biological tool to meet the present challenges as well as lay a strong and logical basis for any impending challenges.