Background: Endophytic fungi are taxonomically and ecologically heterogeneous group of organisms, mainly belonging to the Ascomycotina and Deuteromycotina. Endophytes usually produce the enzymes necessary for the colonization of plant tissues. Endophytes are able to utilize components of plant cells without disturbing host metabolism, which is confirmed by isozyme analysis and studies on substrate utilization. The patents related to enzymes and metabolites produced by endophytic fungi are associated with their ecological significance. Application of metabolites and growth promoting factors produced from endophytic fungi, in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, is now well established. The patents on secretion of extracellular enzymes in vitro by endophytic fungi needed for cell wall degradation, support the hypothesis that fungal endophytes represent a group of organisms specialized to live within plant tissue.
Objective: This review presents the patents granted on different aspects of endophytic fungi for the last 11 years. This expresses the scenario and impact of these patents regarding significance in human society.
Conclusion: In the last few years, research and inventions regarding the different aspects of endophytic fungi beneficial for host plant as well as for human beings have been carried out, which is supported by the increasing number of patents granted on endophytic fungi.