Efficacy of leaf extract fractions of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. against downy mildew of cucumber (Pseudoperonospora cubensis)
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An ethanolic leaf extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (licorice) was highly effective in former bioassays and semi-commercial trials in controlling cucumber downy mildew (efficacy up to 99.0 % in bioassays and 83.0 % in semi-commercial trials). In order to elucidate the active ingredients and the mode of action, licorice leaf extract was fractionated into six fractions of defined substance classes, of which the fraction containing acidic substances (F6) showed highest efficacy (97.6 %). The calculated EC50 values after a probit analysis of concentration series of crude extract and fraction F6 were concentrations of 1.0 % (crude extract) and 0.6 % (fraction F6). Interestingly, the slopes of the resulting graphs were significantly different, pointing to different modes of action for the two treatments. Three flavonoid compounds could be detected. The substances were glabranin, licoflavanon and pinocembrin. All three are known for their antimicrobial and antifungal capacity against plant and human pathogens. Besides these flavonoids, results, such as the different EC50 values, indicated that other compounds may be involved in the activity of fraction F6 against P. cubensis on cucumber.