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In Vitro Control of Post-Harvest Fruit Rot Fungi by Some Plant Essential Oil Components

Author(s): Ippolito Camele | Luciana Altieri | Laura De Martino | Vincenzo De Feo | Emilia Mancini | Gian Luigi Rana

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 13;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 2290;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: fungitoxic activity | monoterpenes | plant essential oils | post-harvest diseases

Eight substances that are main components of the essential oils from three Mediterranean aromatic plants (Verbena officinalis, Thymus vulgaris and Origanum vulgare), previously found active against some phytopathogenic Fungi and Stramenopila, have been tested in vitro against five etiological agents of post-harvest fruit decay, Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium italicum, P. expansum, Phytophthora citrophthora and Rhizopus stolonifer. The tested compounds were β-fellandrene, β-pinene, camphene, carvacrol, citral, o-cymene, γ-terpinene and thymol. Citral exhibited a fungicidal action against P. citrophthora; carvacrol and thymol showed a fungistatic activity against P. citrophthora and R. stolonifer. Citral and carvacrol at 250 ppm, and thymol at 150 and 250 ppm stopped the growth of B. cinerea. Moreover, thymol showed fungistatic and fungicidal action against P. italicum. Finally, the mycelium growth of P. expansum was inhibited in the presence of 250 ppm of thymol and carvacrol. These results represent an important step toward the goal to use some essential oils or their components as natural preservatives for fruits and foodstuffs, due to their safety for consumer healthy and positive effect on shelf life extension of agricultural fresh products.
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