In vitro evaluation of the antifungal activity of some essential oils on post-harvest fungal pathogens of tropical fruits

T.S. ChuahA, Y.Y. TanA and B.S. IsmailB

A Department of Agrotechnology, Faculty of Agrotechnology and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.

B Faculty of Science and Technology, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor,Malaysia.


Essential oils derived from Citrus aurantifolia Swingle, Citrus limon (L.) Burm.f., Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf, Cestrum nocturnum L., and Michelia champaca Linn. were incorporated into potato dextrose agar and evaluated in vitro for fungistatic and fungicidal activity against Fusarium oxysporum (Fo), Fusarium oxysporum (Fo2) and Glomerella cingulata (Gc) isolated from the snake fruit, papaya and wax apple, respectively. Cymbopogon citratus oil exhibited the most activity against the fungi tested with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 1.2, 0.8 and 1.0 µL mL-1 against Fo, Fo2 and Gc respectively. Essential oils from M. champaca and C. nocturnum were moderately effective with fungistatic and fungicidal concentrations ranging from 0.8 to 6.4 µL mL-1. Both citrus oils were found to be the least effective with the MIC ranging from 6.4 to 38.4 µL mL-1. This preliminary study has revealed the potential use of the essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus against post-harvest fungal pathogens F. oxysporum and G. cingulata.