Antimicrobial and mycofumigation potential of novel Indian Muscodor species at enhancing the shelf life of fruits and vegetables

Vineet Meshram 1,2 Sanjai Saxena 2
1Department of Plant Pathology, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion, Israel
2Department of Biotechnology, Thapar University, Patiala, India

Muscodor is a genus of sterile, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) producing endophytic fungi with antimicrobial and mycofumigation properties. In the present study, seven novel Muscodor species (M. kashayum, M. strobelii, M. tigerii, M. darjeelingensis, M. ghoomensis, M. indica and M. camphora) were isolated from A. marmelos, C. zeylanicum, and C. camphora, respectively growing in Western Ghats and North eastern Himalayan region of India. When tested for their antimicrobial properties, M. kasahyum emerged most lethal to the battery of plant and human pathogens. It exhibited complete inhibition of 26 pathogenic microorganisms whereas growth of rest of the isolates was reduced to 50-70%. Further, Muscodor strobelii, M. darjeelingensis, M. camphora also exhibited strong antibacterial and antifungal activity whereas M. tigerii only showed antifungal activity. The volatiles produced by M. kashayum successfully preserved grapes, jamun, cherry, black gram and wheat from Botrytis cinerea, Rhizoctonia solani, Collectrotrichum gloeosporioides and cercospora beticola infection till 15 days of infection. All the isolates produced fruity smell which is attributable to a mixture of volatile compounds predominantly producing 3-cyclohexen-1-ol,1-(1,5-dimethyl-4-hexenyl)-4-methyl; 1,6-dioxacyclododecane- 7,12-dione; 4-octadecylmorpholine, 2, 6-bis (1, 1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-oxopropyl) phenol, aspidofractinine-3-methanol, tetracontane etc. Muscodor species produced sterile ropy mycelia with coiling and non-descript structures and lacks sexual stage. Their ITS sequence also showed high similarity with other Muscodor species. Phylogenetic, distance and haplotype analysis confirms their identity as novel Muscodor species. Thus, these Muscodor isolates can be taken into account to be developed as a myco/biofumigant that act as a biopreservative for fruits, vegetable and grains and help to reduce post harvest losses.