, Volume 225, Issue 1-2, pp 57-65
Date: 04 May 2005

Chemical characterization and antifungal activity of essential oil of capitula from wild Indian Tagetes patula L.

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Summary.

The essential oil extracted by steam distillation from the capitula of Indian Tagetes patula, Asteraceae, was evaluated for its antifungal properties and analyzed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Thirty compounds were identified, representing 89.1% of the total detected. The main components were piperitone (24.74%), piperitenone (22.93%), terpinolene (7.8%), dihydro tagetone (4.91%), cis-tagetone (4.62%), limonene (4.52%), and allo-ocimene (3.66%). The oil exerted a good antifungal activity against two phytopathogenic fungi, Botrytis cinerea and Penicillium digitatum, providing complete growth inhibition at 10 µl/ml and 1.25 µl/ml, respectively. The contribution of the two main compounds, piperitone and piperitenone, to the antifungal efficacy was also evaluated and ultrastructural modifications in mycelia were observed via electron microscopy, evidencing large alterations in hyphal morphology and a multisite mechanism of action.

Correspondence and reprints: Dipartimento delle Risorse Naturali e Culturali, Università di Ferrara, Corso Porta di Mare 2, 44100 Ferrara, Italy.