AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

The effect of garlic extracts on the control of postharvest pathogens and postharvest decay of apples

by Chanel Karousha Daniel

Institution: Stellenbosch University
Department: Plant Pathology
Degree: MSc
Year: 2014
Keywords: Plant pathology; Dissertations  – Plant pathology
Record ID: 1466179
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86544


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Apples are an important export commodity for the South African market, and postharvest losses that occur as a result of decay due to infection with pathogenic fungi such as Botrytis cinerea Pers., Penicillium expansum (Link) Thom. and Neofabraea alba (E.J. Guthrie) are of major concern for all parties concerned with fruit production and distribution. Decay control of these fungi is primarily managed through the use of synthetic fungicides; however, pathogen development of resistance to these fungicides and recent worldwide concern over healthier living and a greener environment has called for the discriminate use of synthetic chemicals. This has opened up an avenue for the development of safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to control postharvest decays. The use of plant extracts and essential oils are favoured as natural sources of antimicrobials whilst still being safe for human consumption and having no negative impact on the environment. Allium sativum (garlic) is one such plant species that is well documented for its value in improving human health and is readily available for consumption not just as a flavour component of food but also to be taken as a daily herbal diet supplement. Given the antimicrobial effectiveness of garlic against human pathogens and ailments, its value as an antifungal agent against postharvest pathogens causing grey mould, blue mould and bull’s eye rot of apples was investigated in vitro and in vivo within this study. Furthermore, an attempt was made to elucidate the chemical components of garlic extracts by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). All experiments in this study were carried out with garlic extracts prepared from fresh garlic bulbs. For the in vitro experiments, two extract preparations of garlic, one containing ethanol (Extract 1) and one where ethanol had been removed by evaporation (Extract 2), was tested for antifungal action within an amended media experimental design. Both extract preparations were each subjected to two dilution series (0-80% garlic extract) with water and ethanol as diluents. Both extract preparations were successful at retarding pathogen mycelial growth and spore germination; however, concentrations of Extract 2 (ethanol evaporated) and diluted with distilled water provided markedly better inhibition of B. cinerea and P. expansum than the ethanolic dilutions of extract 2. Both extract preparations yielded similar inhibitory results when tested against N. alba. Due to the results achieved in the amended media experiments, the use of a crude garlic extract without ethanol and diluted in water was considered to be the best option for further tests throughout the remainder of the study. In vitro volatile effects of crude garlic extracts at concentrations between 0 and 40% garlic extract were subsequently tested. Garlic volatiles were effective in inhibiting pathogen mycelial growth and spore germination of all three pathogens, at lower concentrations compared to the amended media…