Management of Alternaria leaf blight in tomato plants by mentha essential oil K., Bokhari N.A. (2020): Management of Alternaria leaf blight in tomato plants by mentha essential oil. Plant Protect. Sci., 56: 191-196.
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The essential oil obtained by the hydro-distillation of the leaves of Mentha arvensis Linnaeus was evaluated for its antifungal activity against the causal agent of the Alternaria blight of tomatoes, i.e., Alternaria alternata (Fries) Keissler. The antifungal activity of the mentha essential oil was assessed both in vitro and in vivo. The chemical composition of the mentha oil was also identified by GCMS analysis. The in vitro test revealed that the maximum inhibition in the mycelial growth (93.6%) and conidia germination (90.6%) was at the highest concentration (40 µL/mL), furthermore, it was found that the inhibition of the mycelial growth and conidia germination was dose dependent. The in vivo test proved that the application of the mentha essential oil (40 µL/mL) significantly increased the plant height (84.6%), fresh weight (81.5%) and dry weight (80.0%) when compared to the untreated tomato plants. The disease incidence was 3.5 in the untreated plants, while it was 0.93 for the mentha essential oil treated plants and was 0.08 in the carbendazim treated plants. The GC-MS analysis of the mentha essential oil identified 18 compounds in total, among which the percentage of menthol was the highest (69.2%). The mentha essential oil was successful in managing the Alternaria leaf blight in the tomato plants. Therefore, it can be explored further for the development of a natural fungicide.

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