Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Production, processing and application of natural antifungal crop protectants

The project develops and implements non-chemical crop protection using natural antifungal agents (green chemicals), antagonistic microorganisms or antifungal metabolites from plant or microbial origin. These natural crop protectants are being designed for use with food crops or non-food products vulnerable to fungal deterioration.

A range of green chemicals were screened for their fungicidal spectrum in standardized bioassays against many different target fungi. Additionally, indicative toxicology treats of the green chemicals were assessed. The following conclusions were drawn from work on the effect of green chemicals derived from plants. Thymol and carvacrol were strong inhibitors of fungal germination and growth, in liquid as well as via the gas phase. Carvone and cinnamaldehyde inhibited germination best when administered via the gas phase. In situ tests proved the potential of cinnamaldehyde as a surface disinfectant for tomatoes, controlling visible fungal growth. With respect to effects of green chemicals of microbial origin: supernatant of Lactobacillus plantarum was very inhibitory towards all a range of target fungi in vitro; cell-free extracts of Staphylococcus strains inhibited Fusarium-strains, but not Aspergillus niger and B. cinerea, Gliocladium catenulatum; G. roseum and B. polymyxa spore-cultures significantly inhibited almost all target fungi. Among the antagonists tested on crop-tissues, four showed activity against cucumber black stem rot caused by D. bryoniae. Foliar diseases caused by D. bryoniae and B. cinerea (grey mould), could be reduced by Gliocladium strains, F. aquaeductuum and B. polymyxa. Against potato silver scurf, Gliocladium strains and B. polymyxa were promising antagonists.

A start was made to compile a database with toxicological information on plant derived green chemicals. In addition, the toxicological position of plant extracts and microbial derived compounds was evaluated in a number of short-term end-point tests, the Ames mutagenicity test and the Photobacter biological activity test.

Reported by

ATO - DLO - Agrotechnological Research Institute
Bornsesteeg 59
6700 AA Wageningen
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