AbstractBlue mold caused by Penicillium species is a major fungal disease threatening the viticulture industry in Pakistan, responsible for deteriorating the quality of grapes during handling, transportation, and distribution. Identification-based approaches of Penicillium species provide a better strategy on accurate diagnosis and effective management. In this study, 13 isolates were recovered from symptomatic grape bunches at five main fruit markets of Rawalpindi district, Punjab province. Based on morphological data and multi-loci phylogenetic analysis, the isolates were identified as two distinct species viz. Penicillium expansum (eight isolates) and Penicillium crustosum (five isolates). Meanwhile, the pathogenicity test of Penicillium isolates presented by the inoculation of grape bunches showed various degrees of severity. For improving the fruit quality and eliminating the needs of synthetic fungicides, botanicals such as thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), ginger (Zingiber officinale L.), and carum (Carum capticum L.) essential oils (EOs) at concentrations of 0.6, 0.9, 1.2, and 1.5 mg/mL were evaluated. In vitro studies indicated that thyme EO showed a highly significant reduction of fungal growth. Furthermore, the experiments related to reducing the decay development and average weight loss percentage of grapes revealed similar findings. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that thyme EO can be used as an eco-friendly botanical fungicide against Penicillium spp. causing blue mold disease.
Green Processing and Synthesis – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 13, 2021
Keywords: blue mold disease; essential oils; green botanical fungicide; Thymus vulgaris; Vitis vinifera L.