Planta Med 2020; 86(13/14): 1009-1024
DOI: 10.1055/a-1185-4437
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers

Bioactive Properties of the Aqueous Extracts of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) Roots

1   Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
2   Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Production Systems Unit, Biomass Characterization and Properties Group, Espoo, Finland
Maarit Karonen
3   Natural Chemistry Research Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Riina Muilu-Mäkelä
2   Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Production Systems Unit, Biomass Characterization and Properties Group, Espoo, Finland
Janne Kaseva
4   Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural Resources Unit, Applied Statistical Methods Group, Jokioinen, Finland
Nuria de Pedro
5   Fundación MEDINA, Avda. del Conocimiento, Granada, Spain
Francisca Vicente
5   Fundación MEDINA, Avda. del Conocimiento, Granada, Spain
Olga Genilloud
5   Fundación MEDINA, Avda. del Conocimiento, Granada, Spain
Ulla Aapola
6   Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Hannu Uusitalo
6   Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
7   Tays Eye Centre, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
Katriina Vuolteenaho
8   The Immunopharmacology Research Group, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
Robert Franzén
9   School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Kristiina Wähälä
10   Department of Biochemistry and Developmental Biology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
11   Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Matti Karp
1   Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Ville Santala
1   Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Tytti Sarjala
2   Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Production Systems Unit, Biomass Characterization and Properties Group, Espoo, Finland
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: COST FA1103 Endophytes in Biotechnology and Agriculture
Supported by: Koneen Säätiö
Supported by: European Regional Development Fund A71142


Despite the continuing interest in various plant and natural products, only a small portion of the biologically active compounds from nature has been discovered and exploited. In this study, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of aqueous fractions of three endophytic fungi isolated from the roots of 8-year-old Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) growing on a drained peatland were investigated. The endophytic fungi species were Acephala applanata, Phialocephala fortinii, and Humicolopsis cephalosporioides/Coniochaeta mutabilis. The bioactivities were examined using hydrogen peroxide scavenging and oxygen radical absorbance capacity tests as well as sensitive Escherichia coli-based biosensors, which produce a luminescent signal in the presence of substances with oxidative or genotoxic properties. In addition, cell models for Parkinsonʼs disease, age-related macular degeneration, and osteoarthritis were used to evaluate the potential for pharmaceutical applications. The aqueous extracts of fungi and 19 out of 42 fractions were found to be active in one or more of the tests used. However, no activity was found in the age-related macular degeneration and osteoarthritis cell model tests. Additionally, bioactivity data was connected with metabolites putatively annotated, and out of 330 metabolites, 177 were interesting in view of the bioactivities investigated. A majority of these were peptides and all three fungal species shared a highly similar metabolome. We propose that Scots pine endophytic fungi are a rich source of interesting metabolites, and synergistic effects may cause the bioactivities, as they were found to vary after the fractionation process.

Supporting Information

Publication History

Received: 10 December 2019

Accepted after revision: 20 May 2020

Article published online:
10 June 2020

© 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York

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