Chemical pesticides have been commonly used for the control of various plant diseases. Although pathogens can be controlled with the application of these products, there are hazardous impacts in human health and environment. In parallel, essential oils have been shown to be effective in plant diseases management and can be safely incorporated as suitable alternatives for synthetic fungicides. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the control of papaya fruits anthracnose by different essential oils associated with different coatings. In vitro evaluation of essential oils was carried out to conidial germination and mycelial growth of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Quantification of anthracnose and fruits fresh mass loss was also performed for all treatments. Rosemary pepper and Noni essential oils were the most effective in reducing conidia germination and mycelial growth of C. gloeosporioides. The application of essential oils associated with different coatings was as effective as the chemical control, in inhibiting the growth of the pathogen in 100%. Moreover, papaya fruits treated with the mixture of paraffin and essential oils reduced in 7% the fruits fresh mass loss infected with the fungus. These combinations are a promising alternative to chemicals to control anthracnose, a major postharvest disease on papaya during storage.
Key words: Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, alternative control, post-harvest, weight loss.
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