ANTIFUNGAL ACTIVITY OF <i>HEDYCHIUM CORONARIUM</i> J. KÖNIG ESSENTIAL OIL AGAINST <i>FUSARIUM OXYSPORUM</i> SCHLECHT AND <i>THANATEPHORUS CUCUMERIS</i> (A.B. FRANK) DONK <i>IN VITRO</i>
AbstractFusarium oxysporum Schlecht and Thanatephorus cucumeris (A.B. Frank) Donk are fungi which cause some diseases in important plant cultures in Brazil - like bananas and beans. Hedychium coronarium J. König is a native plant from Asia that currently occurs in Brazil, where it is used in folk medicine to treat infections in general. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of the H. coronarium essential oil from leaves on the in vitro growth of F. oxysporum and T. cucumeris colonies. Discs of 5 mm diameter from isolated cultures of each fungi were placed in the center of 90 mm diameter Petri dishes with potato dextrose agar. In the peripheral area of the dishes four discs of filter paper were placed with 10 µL of essential oil, extracted through distillation system. For a control treatment, discs without essential oil were used. A completely randomized design was used with four replications (of four dishes). Every 24 hours for 8 days the fungi growth was evaluated by measuring the diameter of the colonies. After 192 hours F. oxysporum colonies had 37.4 mm diameter in the treatment with essential oil, while in the control the diameter was 66.4 mm. T. cucumeris colonies reached 11.9 mm diameter with essential oil and covered the dishes in the control. The results showed that the essential oil from leaves of H. coronarium has an inhibitory effect on the in vitro growth of F. oxysporum and T. cucumeris, thus suggesting its potential use in agriculture, mainly with respect to banana and bean cultures. Keywords: phytopathology, medicinal plants, biological control.
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