Morinda citrifolia has aroused the interest of several research institutions due to its pharmacological properties. The compounds biosynthesized can be explored as an alternative for control measures of plant pathogens causing leaf lesions in maize. The study aim at evaluating the potential effects of essential oil obtained from ripe fruits of M. citrifolia on Bipolaris maydis and Exserohilum turcicum isolated from maize plants. Ripe fruits were subjected to extraction of essential oil by hydrodistillation method and chemical composition was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The yield of essential oil was 0.17% (v/w), and the main constituents identified were octanoic acid constitutes 82.2%, hexanoic acid 8.3%, 3-methylbutyl octanoate 4.2%, and ethyl etanoate 2.5%. Mycelial growth control in vitro and in vivo of B. maydis and E. turcicum spots diseases in maize plants was evaluated and the fruit of M. citrifolia was found to have potential essential oil with fungicidal activity at concentration 0.25%. With area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) values lower than those observed in treatments with fungicide, the preventive control of leaf spot in B. maydis plants using essential oil of M. citrifolia showed biological activities and therefore a source of molecules to be exploited that can minimize the severity of diseases.
Key words: Bipolaris maydis, Exserohilum turcicum, fungitoxicity, phytopathogenic, Zea mays.
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