An endophytic fungus efficiently producing paclitaxel isolated from Taxus wallichiana var. mairei

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Paclitaxel is a medicinal ingredient with high anticancer activity and widely used in hospitals and clinics. In this study, we isolate endophytic fungi efficiently producing paclitaxel from yew for the purpose of paclitaxel manufacture.

The bark of Taxus wallichiana var. mairei was surface sterilized and then inoculated in potato dextrose agar culture medium to isolate endophytic fungi. The paclitaxel in the fungal culture was extracted with mixture of chloroform and the same amount of methanol. The content of paclitaxel in the extract was determined and identified with LC-MS. The endophytic fungus efficiently producing paclitaxel was species identified with ITS rDNA and 26S D1/D2 rDNA sequencing.

There were 528 endophytic fungal strains were isolated from the bark of T wallichiana var. mairei in total. There was only a strain efficiently producing paclitaxel in these endophytic fungi. The unique strain was identified as Phoma medicaginis. The paclitaxel contents in whole potato dextrose broth (PDB) culture, spent culture medium from this strain and that in dry mycelium is 1.215 mg/L, 0.936 mg/L, and 20 mg/kg, respectively.

An endophytic fungus efficiently producing paclitaxel was isolated from T wallichiana var. mairei. This isolated endophytic fungus can be used as a producing strain for paclitaxel manufacture.

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