World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 197–202 | Cite as

Effect of antimicrobial activity of Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil on antagonistic potential of Pleurotus species against Trichoderma harzianum in dual culture

  • P. AngeliniEmail author
  • R. Pagiotti
  • B. Granetti
Original Paper


Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) essential oil was investigated for its “in vitro” ability to control Trichoderma harzianum, a fungal contaminant that causes extensive losses in the cultivation of Pleurotus species. The antifungal activity of M. alternifolia essential oil and antagonist activities between Pleurotus species against three T. harzianum strains were studied in dual-culture experiments on an agar-based medium in which different concentrations of essential oil were incorporated. M. alternifolia essential oil at a concentration of 0.625 μL/mL, inhibited T. harzianum mycelial growth by 5.9–9.0%, depending on the strain. At the same concentrations P. ferulae and P. nebrodensis stimulated mycelial growth by 5.2–8.1%. All strains of T. harzianum were antagonistic to the Pleurotus species in the control. When essential oil was added to the substrate cultural, the antagonistic activity of T. harzianum against the Pleurotus species was weak (0.0625 μL of essential oil) or non-existent (0.125 μL of essential oil). M. alternifolia essential oil could be an alternative to the synthetic chemicals that are currently used to prevent and control T. harzianum in mushroom cultivation.


Antagonism Antifungal activity Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil Pleurotus ferulae Pleurotus nebrodensis Trichoderma harzianum 


  1. Adams RP (1995) Identification of essential oil components by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. Allured Publishing Corporation, Carol Stream, Illinois, USAGoogle Scholar
  2. Angelini P, Pagiotti R, Menghini A, Vianello B (2006) Antimicrobial activities of various essential oils against foodborne pathogenic or spoilage moulds. Ann Microbiol 56:65–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell DK, Wells HD, Markham CR (1982) In vitro antagonism of Trichoderma species against six fungal plant pathogens. Phytopathology 72:379–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carson CF, Riley TV (1995) Antimicrobial activity of the major components of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia. J Appl Bacteriol 78:264–269Google Scholar
  5. Castle A, Speranzini D, Rghei N, Alm G, Rinker D, Bissett J (1998) Morphological and molecular identification of Trichoderma isolates on north american mushroom farms. Appl Environ Microbiol 64:133–137Google Scholar
  6. Chang ST (1996) Mushroom research and development—equality and mutual benefit. In: Royse DJ (ed) Mushroom biology and mushroom products. Pennsylvania State University, University ParkGoogle Scholar
  7. Geels FP, vande Geijn J, Rutjens AJ (1988) Pests and diseases. In: Van Griensven LJLD (ed) The cultivation of mushrooms. Darlington Mushroom Laboratories Ltd, Rustington, Sussex, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  8. Griffin SG, Markham LJ, Leach ND (2000) An agar dilution method for the determination of the minimum inhibitory concentration of essential oils. J Essent Oil Res 12:149–255Google Scholar
  9. Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV (1999) Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 86:985–990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV (2003) Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. J Appl Microbiol 95:853–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley CF, Nielsen JB (2006) A review of the toxicity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. Food Chem Toxicol 44:616–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. International Organisation for Standardisation (1996) ISO 4730:1996, Oil of Melaleuca, terpinen-4-ol type (tea tree oil). International Organisation for Standardisation, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  13. Ishii H (1995) Monitoring of fungicide resistence in fungi: biological to biochemical approaches. In: Singh SU, Singh PR (eds) Molecular methods in plant pathology. Lewis Publisher, Boca Raton, London, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  14. Kim HJ, Chen F, Wu C, Wang X, Chung HY (2004) Evaluation of antioxidant activity of Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil and its components. J Agric Food Chem 10:2849–2854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Leal PE, Braga ME, Sato DN, Carvalho JE, Marques MO, Meireles MA (2003) Functional properties of spice extracts obtained via supercritical fluid extraction. J Agric Food Chem 51:2520–2525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lee KG, Shibamoto T (2002) Determination of antioxidant potential of volatile extracts isolated from various herbs and spices. J Agric Food Chem 50:4947–4952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Markham JL (1999) Biological activity of tea tree oil. In: Southwell I, Lowe R (eds) Tea Tree, the genus Melaleuca. Harwood Academic Publishers, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  18. McLafferty FW, Staufer DB (1989) The Wiley NBS registry of mass spectral data. Wiley J & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Misra G, Pavlostathis SG, Perdue EM, Araujo R (1996) Aerobic biodegradation of selected monoterpenes. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 45:831–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Morris E, Doyle O, Clancy K (1995) A profile of Trichoderma species. I Mushroom compost production. Mushroom Sci 14:611–618Google Scholar
  21. Ospino-Giraldo MD, Royse DJ, Thon MR, Chen X, Romaine CP (1998) Phylogenetic relationships of Trichoderma harzianum causing mushroom green mold in Europe and North America to other species of Trichoderma from world-wide sources. Mycologia 90:76–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pitakpaivan P, Choobambroomg W, Sontirat P, Tontyaporn S, Maher MJ (1991) Studies on species of fungi associated with the cultivation of straw mushroom, Volvariella volvacea (Bull Ex Fr) sing in Thailand. Mushroom Sci 131:385–388Google Scholar
  23. Rifai MA (1969) A revision of the genus Trichoderma. Mycol Pap 116:1–56Google Scholar
  24. Smith-Palmer A, Stewart J, Fyfe L (1998) Antimicrobial properties of plant essential oils and essences against five important food-borne pathogens. Lett Appl Microbiol 26:118–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vokou D, Chalkos D, Karamanlidou G, Yiangou M (2002). Activation of soil respiration and shift of the microbial population balance in soil as a response to Lavandula stoechas essential oil. J Chem Ecol 28:755–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zervakis G, Venturella G (2002) Mushroom breeding and cultivation enhances ex situ conservation of Mediterranean Pleurotus taxa. In: Engels JMM, Rao VR, Brown AHD, Jackson MT (eds) Managing plant genetic diversity. CABI Publishing, UKGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale e Biotecnologie Agroambientali e ZootecnicheUniversità degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

Personalised recommendations