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Curr Med Chem. 2018;25(2):208-252. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170314145159.

Bioactive Metabolites from Pathogenic and Endophytic Fungi of Forest Trees.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Universita di Napoli Federico II, Complesso Universitario Monte Sant'Angelo, Via Cintia 4, 80126, Napoli, Italy.
Dipartimento di Agraria, Sezione di Patologia Vegetale ed Entomologia, Universita degli Studi di Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100, Sassari, Italy.



Fungi play an important role in terrestrial ecosystems interacting positively or negatively with plants. These interactions are complex and the outcomes are different depending on the fungal lifestyles, saprotrophic, mutualistic or pathogenic. Furthermore, fungi are well known for producing secondary metabolites, originating from different biosynthetic pathways, which possess biological properties of considerable biotechnological interest. Among the terrestrial ecosystems, temperate forests represent an enormous reservoir of fungal diversity. This review will highlight the goldmine of secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic and endophytic fungi of forest trees with focus on their biological activities.


A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature was undertaken using a research discovery application providing access to a large and authoritative source of references. The papers selected were examined and the main results were reported and discussed.


Two hundred forthy-one papers were included in the review, outlined a large number of secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic and endophiltic fungi and their biological activities, including phytotoxic, antifungal, antioomycetes, antibacterial, brine shrimp lethality, mosquito biting deterrence and larvicidal, cytotoxic, antiproliferative and many other bioactivities.


The findings of this review confirm the importance of secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic and endophytic fungi from forest plants growing in temperate regions as an excellent prospects to discover compounds with new bioactivities and mode of actions. In addition, the potential of some metabolites as a source of new drugs and biopesticides is underlined.


antibacterial; anticancer; antifungal; fungal metabolites; phytotoxic; zootoxic activity

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