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Can J Microbiol. 2001 Jan;47(1):9-17.

Effects of Cymbopogon nardus (L.) W. Watson essential oil on the growth and morphogenesis of Aspergillus niger.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie-Virologie et Microbiologie Industrielle, Faculté de Pharmacie, 35, chemin des Maraîchers, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France.


The growth inhibitory effect of Cymbopogon nardus (L.) W. Watson var. nurdus essential oil on Aspergillus niger (Van Tieghem) mycelium was determined on agar medium. The mycelium growth was completely inhibited at 800 mg/L. This concentration was found to be lethal under the test conditions. Essential oil at 400 mg/L caused growth inhibition of 80% after 4 days of incubation, and a delay in conidiation of 4 days compared with the control. Microscopic observations were carried out to determine the ultrastructural modifications of A. niger hyphae after treatment with C. nardus essential oil. The main change observed by transmission electron microscopy concerned the hyphal diameter and the hyphal wall, which appeared markedly thinner. These modifications in cytological structure might be caused by the interference of the essential oil with the enzymes responsible for wall synthesis which disturb normal growth. Moreover, the essential oil caused plasma membrane disruption and mitochondrial structure disorganization. The findings thus indicate the possibility of exploiting Cymbopogon nardus essential oil as an effective inhibitor of biodegrading and storage-contaminating fungi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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