Project description:In defensive ant-plant interactions myrmecophytic plants express reduced chemical defense in their leaves to protect themselves from pathogens, and it seems that mutualistic partners are required to make up for this lack of defensive function. Previously, we reported that mutualistic ants confer plants of Acacia hindsii protection from pathogens, and that the protection is given by the ant-associated bacteria. Here, we examined whether foliar endophytic fungi may potentially act as a new partner, in addition to mutualistic ants and their bacteria inhabitants, involved in the protection from pathogens in myrmecophytic Acacia plants. Fungal endophytes were isolated from the asymptomatic leaves of A. hindsii plants for further molecular identification of 18S rRNA gene. Inhibitory effects of fungal endophytes were tested against Pseudomonas plant pathogens. Our findings support a potential role of fungal endophytes in pathogen the protection mechanisms against pathogens in myrmecophytic plants and provide the evidence of novel fungal endophytes capable of biosynthesizing bioactive metabolites.