Varinder Singh, Jyoti Bhagat, Bhupinder Singh Chadha, Rajesh Kumari Manhas and Amarjeet Kaur*
Fungal endophytes isolated from medicinal plants viz. Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia and Ficus religiosa were screened for their ability to produce acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which are important in the treatment of various diseases and disorders related to decline in acetylcholine levels. Nine cultures were found to exhibit significant inhibitory activity (>50%). Molecular characterization of the producer isolates was carried out using ITSI-5.8S-ITSII rDNA sequencing. The generated dendrogram showed that the isolates were distributed within Ascomycota phylum and belonged to three classes Eurotiomycetes, Dothideomycetes and Sordariomycetes. Maximum inhibition (95.8%) was evinced by Cladosporium uredinicola isolated from Tinospora cordifolia after 10days of incubation on malt extract medium when diethyl ether was used as an extraction solvent. Thin layer chromatography based bioassay revealed the presence of at least two bioactive molecules. Acetycholinesterase inhibitory activity is being reported for the first time from endophytic Cladosporium uredinicola, Nigrospora sp. and Colletotrichum sp.
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