Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology | 2021
Plant Essential Oils Were Used to Characterize and Control Post-Harvest Fungal Infections in Peaches
Post-harvest fungal pathogens are major threat to food industry, deteriorating the quality of perishable fruits from handling, transportation and distribution to consumption. Half of the production of peaches lost annually due to the prevalence of post-harvest fungal diseases worldwide. The present study was intensively designed to investigate the post-harvest fungi associated with peach. The most common spoilage fungi isolated and identified were Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus stolonifera and Penicillium expansum. The highest percentage of infection was recorded in fruits with street sellers, local fruit shops and the smallest one was recorded in storage houses after harvesting. In-vitro experiment against post-harvest spoilage fungi was directed by using plant essential oils extracted from native herbs by Clevenger type apparatus. Essential oils are natural biocide against postharvest rotting of fresh produce. The antifungal activity of oils was increased with an increase in the concentrations of oil. Amongst the plant essential oils used, Trigonella foenum-gracum at highest concentration (0.10%) caused maximum inhibition in the mycelial growth and spore germination of Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus stolonifer followed by the essential oils (Thymus vulgaris and Eucalyptus globulus) at (10%). Essential oils as natural compounds are highly degradable with no accumulation in plants and can replace hazardous environmental deteriorating artificial fungicides. These findings strengthen the possibility of using plant essential oils as an eco-friendly alternative component to chemicals for enhancing shelf-life of peach fruit.