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Revista Ciência Agronômica

On-line version ISSN 1806-6690

Abstract

SANTOS, Gil Rodrigues dos et al. Effect of essential oils of medicinal plants on leaf blotch in Tanzania grass. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2013, vol.44, n.3, pp.587-593. ISSN 1806-6690.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-66902013000300022.

Leaf spots caused by phyto-pathogenic fungi, can reduce the production of forage plants. The essential oils of medicinal plants have antimicrobial potential. The objective here was to evaluate the fungotoxicity in vitro of the essential oils of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf (Poaceae)), citronella (Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle (Poaceae)), lemon balm (Lippia alba (Mill.) NE Br ex Britton & P. Wilson (Verbenaceae)) and peppermint (Mentha piperita L. (Lamiaceae)) on the fungus Helminthosporium sp. and the in vivo effect of these oils and of commercial neem oil (Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae)) on leaf blotch in Panicum maximum Jacq. cv. Tanzania-1. The mycelial growth of the fungus was evaluated over five periods (2; 4; 6; 8 and 10 days from incubation) and with five concentrations of essential oils (C1 = 250 ppm; C2 = 500 ppm; C3 = 750 ppm; C4 = 1,000 ppm e C5 = 1,250 ppm). As an alternative control, the preventative and curative effect on leaf blotch of five oil-based treatments were evaluated: lemongrass, citronella, lemon balm, peppermint and neem in four concentrations (2,500; 5,000; 7,500 and 10,000 ppm). The essential oils of lemongrass and citronella were the most effective in reducing mycelial growth of Helminthosporium sp. With the essential oil of lemongrass, the pathogen presented the highest growth concentration (1.250 ppm). The results obtained showed that all the essential oils and concentrations tested presented a preventive and curative effect, reducing the severity of leaf blotch.

Keywords : Forage plants; Essential oils; Helminthosporium sp..

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