Occurrence of pathogenic and endophytic fungi and their influence on quality of medicinal plants applied in management of neurological diseases and mental disorders

KATARZYNA WIELGUSZ, LIDIA IRZYKOWSKA

Abstract

Due to increasing demand of medicinal plants (MPs), quality and safety more attention to the plant health should be paid. Among herb pathogens, especially fungi cause serious diseases in these plants decreasing yield and quality of herbal raw material. Some species, i.e. Fusarium sp., Alternaria sp., Penicillium sp. are known as mycotoxin producers. Paradoxically, self-treatment with herbal raw material can expose the patient to mycotoxin activity. In tissues of some MPs species, asymptomatically endophytic fungi residue. It is known that they are able to influence a biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in their host plant or produce biologically active compounds. Until recently these microorganisms have been neglected as a component of MPs, the reason why there have unexplored bioactivity and biodiversity. The paper presents an overview of herbal plants that are used in the treatment of nervous system diseases. Pathogenic fungi that infect these plants are described. It focused mainly on species producing harmful mycotoxins. The publication presents a list of these mycotoxins and a brief description of their effects on human health. The second part of this article provides information on the occurrence of endophytic fungi in herbal plants and their effects on human health. Coexistence of fungi and medicinal plants is not fully understood but can be crucial to ensure health and safety of patients with neurological diseases and mental disorders.
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