Background: Fungi play an important role in terrestrial ecosystems interacting positively or
negatively with plants. These interactions are complex and the outcomes are different depending on the
fungal lifestyles, saprotrophic, mutualistic or pathogenic. Furthermore, fungi are well known for producing
secondary metabolites, originating from different biosynthetic pathways, which possess biological
properties of considerable biotechnological interest. Among the terrestrial ecosystems, temperate forests
represent an enormous reservoir of fungal diversity. This review will highlight the goldmine of secondary
metabolites produced by pathogenic and endophytic fungi of forest trees with focus on their biological
Methods: A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature was undertaken
using a research discovery application providing access to a large and authoritative source of
references. The papers selected were examined and the main results were reported and discussed.
Results: Two hundred forthy-one papers were included in the review, outlined a large number of secondary
metabolites produced by pathogenic and endophiltic fungi and their biological activities, including
phytotoxic, antifungal, antioomycetes, antibacterial, brine shrimp lethality, mosquito biting deterrence
and larvicidal, cytotoxic, antiproliferative and many other bioactivities.
Conclusion: The findings of this review confirm the importance of secondary metabolites produced by
pathogenic and endophytic fungi from forest plants growing in temperate regions as an excellent prospects
to discover compounds with new bioactivities and mode of actions. In addition, the potential of
some metabolites as a source of new drugs and biopesticides is underlined.