Cymbidium aloifolium is an epiphytic orchid used in treatment of many human ailments. The endophytic fungi associated with orchids are diverse and have potential to produce many bioactive compounds including extracellular enzymes. A total of 165 endophytic fungi representing 22 different fungal species were obtained from root, leaf and flowers of C. aloifolium. The colonization rate (CR) and isolation rate (IR) varied with different plant parts and was highest in root (CR = 40.6%, IR = 0.83) followed by leaf (CR = 32.12%, IR = 0.66) and flower (CR = 27.27%, IR = 0.56). The diversity of isolated endophytic fungi in root, leaf and flower was determined; Shannon-Wiener index (H’) was highest in root (H’ = 2.64) followed by leaf (H’ = 2.12) and flower (H’ = 1.5). Simpson diversity index (D’) was high in root (D’ = 0.93) with a maximum of 16 species, followed by leaf (D’= 0.88) with 9 species and flower (D’ = 0.78) with 5 species. Shannon evenness index (J’) was highest in leaf (J’ = 0.96) followed by root (J’= 0.95) and flower (J’ = 0.93). The endophytic fungi subjected for production of extracellular enzymes; 93% produced phosphatase, 80% cellulase, 70% amylase, 63.33% protease, 30% pectinase, 23.33% lipase and 10% laccase.
Key words: Cymbidium aloifolium, orchid, endophytic fungi, diversity, extracellular enzymes.
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