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2Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, India
The present investigation has been carried out to determine the anatomical features of Leaf, Stem, and Root of two medicinal plants belonging to different families, namely Ormocarpum cochinchinense (Lour.) Merr. belonging to Papilionaceae (Fabaceae) and Enicostema axillare (Lam.) Rayanal, belonging to Gentianaceae. Ormocarpum cochinchinense a shrub which is extremely efficacious in mending bone fracture as per the folklores claims in the villages of Tamil Nadu, India and Enicostema axillare (Lam.) Rayanal,is a perennial herb called as chotachirayita in Hindi, vallari, vellaruku in Malayalam, vellarugu in Tamil. The leaves of Enicostema axillare are fed to cattle to increase appetite. The whole plant of Indian Whitehead treat diabetes mellitus, rheumatism, abdominal ulcers, hernia, swelling, itching, malaria and insect poisoning. Apart from this it is used as stomachic and laxative, and blood purifier in dropsy. It is proposed that the properties of medicinal plants are either inherited from endophytic fungi or endophytic fungi are inheriting the properties of native plant. Thus, establishing the plant – microbe interaction is of importance. Considering the medicinal importance of these plants, which are used in the treatment of different disease, they are taken for the study to evaluate the presence of endophytic fungi in different parts of the plants (leaf, stem, and roots). The attempt was made to identify the presence of hyphae of endophytic fungi through anatomical studies. The study established the presence of fungal mycelium in Leaf, Stem and Root in Enicostema axillare and Leaf and Root in Ormocarpum cochinchinense. This study is the first report in establishing the presence of endophytic fungi in internal tissues of medicinal plants through anatomical studies.