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Diversity of endophytic fungi and screening of fungal paclitaxel producer from Anglojap yew, Taxus x media

Zhi-Qiang Xiong1, Ying-Ying Yang12, Na Zhao1 and Yong Wang1*

Author affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China

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Citation and License

BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:71  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-71

Published: 28 March 2013



Endophytic fungi represent underexplored resource of novel lead compounds and have a capacity to produce diverse class of plant secondary metabolites. Here we investigated endophytic fungi diversity and screening of paclitaxel-producing fungi from Taxus x media.


Eighty-one endophytic fungi isolated from T. media were grouped into 8 genera based on the morphological and molecular identification. Guignardia and Colletotrichum were the dominant genera, whereas the remaining genera were infrequent groups. The genera Glomerella and Gibberella were first reported in Taxus. Three representative species of the distinct genera gave positive hits by molecular marker screening and were capable of producing taxol which were validated by HPLC-MS. Among these 3 taxol-producing fungi, the highest yield of taxol was 720 ng/l by Guignardia mangiferae HAA11 compared with those of Fusarium proliferatum HBA29 (240 ng/l) and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides TA67 (120 ng/l). This is the first report of taxol producer from Guignardia. Moreover, the lower similarities of ts and bapt between microbial and plant origin suggested that fungal taxol biosynthetic cluster might be repeatedly invented during evolution, nor horizontal gene transfer from Taxus species.


Taxol-producing endophytic fungi could be a fascinating reservoir to generate taxol-related drug lead and to elucidate the remained 5 unknown genes or the potential regulation mechanism in the taxol biosynthesis pathway.

Taxus x media; Paclitaxel; Endophytic fungi; Guignardia mangiferae; Taxol gene cluster