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Endophytic fungi reside in the internal plant tissues and are potential source of the natural products that may be used in the discovery of novel antibacterial, antifungal and antitumor agents. The recent work was conducted to isolate and identify endophytic fungi from the three medicinal plants Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy), Cassia fistula (Amaltaas) and Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) and to conduct antimicrobial activities of the crude extract obtained from these endophytic fungal strains. A total of four endophytic fungal strains were isolated of which two were isolated from the roots of P. somniferum, one from leaves of C. fistula and one from the mid rib of C. roseus using Sabouraud Dextrose Agar and labelled as PS3, PS4, CF1 and CR1 respectively. Three of the bioactive fungal strains were identified as Aspergillus spp. and one of genus Curvularia based on the cultural and morphological characteristics using bright field microscopy. After identification, the endophytic fungal strains were grown in Czapek yeast extract broth medium for the production of crude metabolites. Antibacterial activity of the crude isolates were tested against 4 human infectious bacterial species including two gram negative bacteria i.e. Salmonella typhi and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and two gram positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. Different concentration of crude extract were tested i.e. 24 mg/ml, 12 mg/ml and 6 mg/ml, among them the concentration 24 mg/ml showed best antibacterial activity. The crude extract was also tested against two pathogenic fungal strains i.e. Aspergillus niger and Alternaria solani. Our results suggest that the crude extract from these endophytic fungal strains may be potential source in the discovery of novel antibacterial and antifungal drugs.
Keywords: Antimicrobial activities; Crude Metabolites; Endophytes; Endophytic fungi; Fungi; Medicinal plants