Phylogenetic and chemical diversity of fungal endophytes isolated from Silybum marianum (L) Gaertn. (milk thistle)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nadja B. Cech, Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry (Creator)
Stanley H. Faeth, Professor Emeritus (Creator)
Mario Figueroa Saldivar, Adjunct Faculty (Creator)
Nicholas Oberlies, Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry (Creator)
Huzefa A. Raja, Research Scientist (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Use of the herb milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is widespread, and its chemistry has been studied for over 50 years. However, milk thistle endophytes have not been studied previously for their fungal and chemical diversity. We examined the fungal endophytes inhabiting this medicinal herb to determine: (1) species composition and phylogenetic diversity of fungal endophytes; (2) chemical diversity of secondary metabolites produced by these organisms; and (3) cytotoxicity of the pure compounds against the human prostate carcinoma (PC-3) cell line. Forty-one fungal isolates were identified from milk thistle comprising 25 operational taxonomic units based on BLAST search via GenBank using published authentic sequences from nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer sequence data. Maximum likelihood analyses of partial 28S rRNA gene showed that these endophytes had phylogenetic affinities to four major classes of Ascomycota, the Dothideomycetes, Sordariomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, and Leotiomycetes. Chemical studies of solid–substrate fermentation cultures led to the isolation of four new natural products. In addition, 58 known secondary metabolites, representing diverse biosynthetic classes, were isolated and characterized using a suite of nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry techniques. Selected pure compounds were tested against the PC-3 cell line, where six compounds displayed cytotoxicity.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Ascomycota, endophyte, Silyburn marianum, milk thistle

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