A fungal endophyte-tree relationship: Phoma sp. in Taxus wallachiana

Xianshu Yang, Gary Strobel, Andrea Stierle, W. M. Hess, Julie Lee, Jon Clardy

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Taxus wallachiana, Nepalase yew, has many associated endophytic fungi. One of these is a Phoma sp. that lives primarily in the intercellular spaces of tissues in the phloem/cambial region of the tree limbs producing two antibiotic substances: altersolanol A and 2-hydroxy-6-methylbenzoic acid. These compounds were isolated from fungal culture, crystallized, bioassayed, and structurally characterized by X-ray crystallography. The presence of endophytic fungi raises the question as to their role in the tree, however, we suggest that the T. wallachiana/Phoma sp. relationship is a mutualistic one. Normally, the organic solvent extract of yew is not antibacterial, however the organic solvent extract of T. media c.v. Hicksii, inoculated with Phoma sp., possessed antibacterial activity. This extract contains altersolanol A as demonstrated by chromatographic and mass spectroscopic analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • 2-Hydroxy-6-methylbenzoic acid
  • Altersolanol
  • Antibiotics
  • Endophytes
  • Mutualism
  • Yews


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