In: Sydowia 73, (2021): 83-88; ISSN 0082-0598, DOI 10.12905/0380.sydowia73-2020-0083, Published online on December 4, 2020
Fungal endophytes of betel leaves: the need to study mycotoxin-producing endophytes in leafy vegetables
Ethiraj Thirumalai, Ambayeram Venkatachalam & Trichur Subramanian Suryanarayanan*
Vivekananda Institute of Tropical Mycology (VINSTROM), Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, Chennai, India
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thirumalai E., Venkatachalam A. & Suryanarayanan T.S. (2020) Fungal endophytes of betel leaves: the need to study mycotoxin-
producing endophytes in leafy vegetables. – Sydowia 73: 83–88.
There are very few studies on endophyte communities of freshly consumed leaves. This is vital as some endophytes which
continue to survive in detached leaves belong to mycotoxin producing genera. We studied the endophyte community of betel leaf,
which is eaten fresh by a huge population, especially in Asia. Young and mature leaves of betel vine were screened for their endophyte
assemblage. In addition, mature leaves collected during dry and wet seasons and those stored in the market were studied
for endophyte presence. The entire leaf was infected with endophytes. Though endophyte colonization frequency (CF %) increased
with leaf age, their species composition did not vary. The CF % of most of the endophytes was low (0.7 %–8.7 %) while
that of Colletotrichum sp. 1 was high irrespective of leaf age or season (46 %–78.67 %). The CF % of Fusarium pallidoroseum
increased with leaf age and storage period; the presence of F. mangiferae increased with storage time. The two Fusarium endophytes
isolated from betel leaf produce an array of mycotoxins including beauvericin, enniatin, nivalenol, fusarenon X, equisetin,
HT2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol and neosolaniol. This study underscores the importance of investigating the endophyte communities
of leafy vegetables, especially those having relatively longer shelf life.
Keywords: Fusarium mangiferae, Fusarium pallidoroseum.