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J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Nov;119(5):1253-62. doi: 10.1111/jam.12939. Epub 2015 Oct 7.

Antifungal modes of action of tea tree oil and its two characteristic components against Botrytis cinerea.

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1
Department of Food Science and Engineering, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China.

Abstract

AIMS:

The essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) has been evaluated as a potential eco-friendly antifungal agent against Botrytis cinerea. In this study, we investigated the antifungal activity and mode of action of tea tree oil (TTO) and its components against B. cinerea.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Of the components we tested in contact phase, terpinen-4-ol had the highest antifungal activity, followed by TTO, α-terpineol, terpinolene, then 1,8-cineole. As one of characteristic components of TTO, terpinen-4-ol treatment led to pronounced alterations in mycelial morphology, cellular ultrastructure, membrane permeability under scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope and fluorescent microscope, and also reduced the ergosterol content of fungi. As another characteristic component, 1,8-cineole caused serious intracellular damage but only slightly affected B. cinerea otherwise. When terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole were used together, the synergistic antifungal activity was significantly higher than either component by itself.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of our study confirmed that terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole act mainly on the cell membranes and organelles of B. cinerea, respectively, and when combined are similar to TTO in antifungal activity due to their differences.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Understanding the mechanism of terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole antifungal action to B. cinerea is helpful for investigation on their synergistic effect and explaining antifungal action modes of TTO.

KEYWORDS:

1,8-cineole; Botrytis cinerea; Melaleuca alternifolia; combination; mechanism; terpinen-4-ol

PMID:
26294100
DOI:
10.1111/jam.12939
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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