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Role of Endophytic Fungi in Plant Disease Management

The majority of plant diseases are caused by microorganisms of which fungi are the most common followed by bacteria and viruses. Endophytic fungi reside in the tissues beneath the epidermal cell layers and live within a plant for at least part of its life without causing apparent diseases. An alternative for chemical control is the application of biocontrol agents, which includes the application of fungal endophytes in the biocontrol of a wide array of plant pathogens. Endophytes' ability to successfully colonize a host plant depends on several variables, including the plant's tissue type, genotype, microbial taxon and strain type, and biotic and abiotic environmental conditions. Crops with endophyte colonization have a higher propensity to withstand diverse stresses than those without this relationship. Through antibiosis or induced systemic resistance, endophytes are crucial for maintaining the health of plants since they can shield or prepare the plant for biotic challenges while also promoting growth and productivity. The primary filamentous fungi investigated and employed as biological control agents against nematodes as resistance inducers are endophytic fungi. Overall, endophytes are viewed as extremely significant plant partners with the ability to increase agricultural output by reducing yield loss through the provision of better stress tolerance to the host in a sustainable manner.