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Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2010;75(4):525-9.

Evaluation of three essential oils as potential sources of botanical fungicides.

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Unité de phytopathologie, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Université de Liège, Passage des Déportés, 2, BE-5030 Gembloux, Belgium.


In previous study, thirty essential oils were evaluated in vitro against two citrus pathogens namely Penicillium italicum Wehmer and Penicillium digitatum Sacc. Essential oils of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum verum and Eugenia caryophyllus were selected because of their high inhibitory activities against both pathogens. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the in vivo activity of these essential oils. Fresh orange fruits were wounded and treated with different concentrations of essential oil (0.5, 1, and 5%) before being infected at the wound site with conidia suspensions of the tested pathogens. When applied at 5%, essential oils tested controlled totally the infections. Among the three essential oils tested, C. zeylanicum seems particularly interesting because of its high protection activity at 1% compare to the others. It reduced the disease incidence from 40 to 70% and the disease severity from 65 to 82%. Moreover no visible damage burn induced on the orange cuticle or skin was observed up to 5% of essential oil. These results strengthen the potential use of essential oils in postharvest disease management of citrus fruit as alternative to chemical fungicides.

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