Endophytes are novel sources of natural bioactive compounds. This study seeks endophytes that produce the anticancer enzyme l-asparaginase, to harness their potential for mass production. Four plants with anticancer properties; Cymbopogon citratus, Murraya koenigii, Oldenlandia diffusa and Pereskia bleo, were selected as host plants. l-Asparaginase-producing endophytes were detected by the formation of pink zones on agar, a result of hydrolyzes of asparagine into aspartic acid and ammonia that converts the phenol red dye indicator from yellow (acidic condition) to pink (alkaline condition). The anticancer enzyme asparaginase was further quantified via Nesslerization. Results revealed that a total of 89 morphotypes were isolated; mostly from P. bleo (40), followed by O. diffusa (25), C. citratus (14) and M. koenigii (10). Only 25 of these morphotypes produced l-asparaginase, mostly from P. bleo and their asparaginase activities were between 0.0069 and 0.025 μM mL-1min-1. l-Asparaginase producing isolates were identified as probable species of the genus Colletotrichum, Fusarium, Phoma and Penicillium. Studies here revealed that endophytes are good alternative sources for l-asparaginase production and they can be sourced from anticancer plants, particularly P. bleo.
Chow, Y., & Ting, A. S. Y. (2015). Endophytic l-asparaginase-producing fungi from plants associated with anticancer properties. Journal of Advanced Research, 6(6), 869–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2014.07.005