Activity of natural products against some phytopathogenic fungi
La Torre, A.; Caradonia, F.; Gianferro, M.; Molinu, M.G.; Battaglia, V.
Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences
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University of Ghent
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The requirement of environmental protection and food safety is perceived with always major interest by public opinion and it is consistent with European Union legislation on the sustainable use of pesticides (Directive 2009/128/EC). This directive requires member states to promote low pesticide-input, giving priority to non-chemical methods and low risk plant protection products. In order to contribute to the achievement of these objectives antifungal activity of natural substances, characterized by a good toxicological and ecotoxicological profile, was tested. Essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, essential oil of Syzygium aromaticum and extract from Mimosa tenuiflora were tested against Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (races 1 and 2). In vitro tests involved determination of radial growth of the colonies of fungi in the presence of varying concentrations of tested products in agar media and determination of germination percentage in the presence of tested product at various concentrations. The products based on essential oil of M. alternifolia were also tested in vivo on tomato fruits wounded and artificially inoculated with A. alternata or with B. cinerea. The in vitro tests showed the antifungal activity of both essential oils instead the extract from M. tenuiflora exhibited poor antifungal activity and only against A. alternata and B. cinerea. The results on tomato fruits showed inhibition of grey mold and black mold by essential oil of M. alternifolia. The antifungal activity increased with increasing concentrations. In conclusion, the obtained results in the present study showed promising prospects for the utilisation of investigated products to reduce the using of antifungal chemicals and to achieve a more sustainable use of pesticides.