Rainforest Fungal Endophytes: Identification, Extracellular Enzyme Production and Antagonistic Study Towards Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 (Foc TR4) in ‘Cavendish’ Banana


Unsustainable use of toxic chemicals such as fungicides in Philippine banana plantation poses health risk in adjacent urban communities and causes contamination of ground water. As a safe alternative to fungicides, 155 endophytic fungi from 20 selected plants from Mt. Apo rainforest, Davao, Philippines were tested for their activity on Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 (FocTR4) causing Fusarium wilt of banana. Maximum inhibition percentage of more than 75% against FocTR4 was observed using opposition method in vitro from FusariumCGP150, PenicilliumCGP116, TrichodermaCGP106, PestalotiopsisCGP117 and SchizophyllumCGP119. Amylase, cellulase and protease were all produced by the five fungal endophytes. Only PestalotiopsisCGP117 did not produce chitinase while the rest were positive. FusariumCGP150, PestalotiopsisCGP117, PenicilliumCGP116 and SchizophyllumCGP119 showed lipase activity and only SchizophyllumCGP119 produced laccase. The fungal endophytes SchizophyllumCGP119, TrichodermaCGP106, PestalotiopsisCGP117 and PenicilliumCGP116 significantly (p-value = 0.05) reduced Fusarium wilt in both GCTCV 219 and Gran Naine when used as protectant. Only SchizophyllumCGP119 showed eradicative ability against FocTR4 in GCTCV 219 but ineffective in Gran Naine. SchizophyllumCGP119 was found to be the most promising isolate whose identity was confirmed through DNA sequencing as Schizophyllum commune strain.