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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jun;44(6):613-8.

In vitro antifungal activity of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil and its major components against plant pathogens.

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1
Istituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura, C.R.A., Fiorenzuola d'Arda (PC), Italy. v.terzi@iol.it

Abstract

AIMS:

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil (TTO) and its principal components on four cereal-pathogenic fungi.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The antimycotic properties of TTO and of terpinen-4-ol, gamma-terpinen and 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol) were evaluated in vitro on Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum and Pyrenophora graminea. Moreover, barley leaves infected with Blumeria graminis were treated with whole TTO. All the tested fungi were susceptible to TTO and its components.

CONCLUSIONS:

TTO exerted a wide spectrum of antimycotic activity. Single TTO purified components were more active than the whole oil in reducing in vitro growth of fungal mycelium and, among the tested compounds, terpinen-4-ol was the most effective.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

TTO and its components can be considered potential alternative natural fungicides.

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