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Hawaiian Endophyte Research

Found inside the healthy leaf tissue of every plant species yet examined, foliar fungal endophytes have been shown to play a critical role in mediating how hosts interact with their abiotic environment and with other organisms including pathogens and herbivores. Though invisible to the naked eye, endophytic fungi form ubiquitous and hyperdiverse communities spanning hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history. It is suspected that these cryptic symbionts comprise a large portion of the estimated 98% of fungal species diversity that remains undocumented.