Background: There is a growing interest in utilizing endophytes as biofertilizers or biological controls.
Beneficial effects may be obtained by synthesizing phytohormones, enzymes and antagonistic substances,
fixing nitrogen and carbon dioxide, inducing defence mechanisms and competing colonizing sites
and nutrients. Endophytes enhance plant growth and health through plant growth promoting rhizobacteria.
Endophytes enter plant tissues through root zone or aerial portions, via germinating radicles, secondary
roots, stomata, or foliar route. Endophyte-plant-polymer degrading enzymes such as cellulases
and pectinases play a role for their internal colonization and can be detected by immunological or in situ
hybridization or tagging with reporter genes. Endophytes interact biochemically and genetically with
their host plant and synthesize osmolytes, osmoprotectants, antioxidants, allowing the plants to mitigate
the impacts of abiotic stress. Plant genes are modulated by endophyte, and the genes so expressed provide
clues as to the effects of endophytes in plants.
Objective: The present review describes bioprospecting of endophyte-plant interactions and discusses
the way forward to understand their molecular mechanisms.
Conclusion: Endophytes are useful models to study the genetic expression of microbe inside the plants,
which are well-regulated and flexible. This helps in developing effective endophyte bioinoculants for
abiotic stress and crop disease management.