Effect of plant essential oils on the growth of Botrytis cinerea Pers.: Fr., Penicillium italicum Wehmer, and P. digitatum (Pers.) Sacc., diseases
Rana Samara 1, A-D  
,   Tawfiq Qubbaj 2, C-D
,   Ian Scott 3, E-F
,   Tim Mcdowell 3, B-C
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Horticulture and Agricultural Extension, Palestine Technical University, Occupied Palestinian Territories
Plant Production and Protection, An-Najah National University, Occupied Palestinian Territories
London Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,, Canada
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article
Rana Samara   

Horticulture and Agricultural Extension, Palestine Technical University, Yafa, 302, Tulkarm, Occupied Palestinian Territories
Submission date: 2021-04-07
Acceptance date: 2021-07-02
Online publication date: 2021-09-08
The current study was conducted to evaluate the effect of eight Palestinian indigenous plant essential oils (EOs) under in vitro and in vivo conditions against Botrytis cinerea Pers.: Fr., Penicillium italicum Wehmer, and Penicillium digitatum (Pers.) Sacc., three common post-harvest pathogens of tomato and strawberry fruits. In vivo tests showed that thyme, sesame and sage EOs exhibited high antifungal activity against B. cinerea on strawberry and tomato fruits, compared with rosemary, mint and eucalyptus. In vitro agar, disk-diffusion tests showed that B. cinerea, P. digitatum and P. italicum mycelium growth was completely inhibited when treated with clove and sage EOs caused 50% inhibition of B. cinerea and P. italicum mycelium growth. Fruit decay and fruit quality index values measured in total soluble solids and fruit flesh firmness showed that EO coated strawberries had significantly less fruit decaying and ripping compared to control, while EO coated tomatoes showed no significant difference compared to control. EO constituents fall into different chemical classes, including sterols, caffeoylquinic acids, flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, and acetylenes. Chemical analysis of the EO preparations using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry determined that the main components in sesame oil were octadecenoic acid- (56%) and hexadecanoic acid (26%), while clove oil consisted of eugenol (53%). In the other EOs, the principal compounds were: menthol (44% in mint oil), eucalyptol (37% in sage oil), while bornanone (18% in rosemary oil) and -Terpinene (21% in thyme oil) were present at lower concentrations. The EO of sage plants could potentially be a useful alternative to synthetic pesticides to control post-harvest diseases and prolong the shelf life of fruit products.
The authors thank many capable students for their assistance in the fieldwork, and laboratory technicians for their technical assistance, support and culture maintenance. Special thanks go to Palsame® essential oils Company for providing essential oil samples for this study.
The scientific work was supported by the Zamala Fellowship Program 2017/2018 sponsored by the Bank of Palestine and Welfare Association. Part of this research was also supported by the Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie (PTUK).
Piotr Kaczyński
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.