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Control of Aspergillus flavus in Maize with Plant Essential Oils and Their Components

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The effects of 11 plant essential oils for maize kernel protection against Aspergillus flavus were studied. Tests were conducted to determine optimal levels of dosages for maize protection, effects of combinations of essential oils, and residual effects and toxicity of essential oils to maize plants. Principal constituents of eight essential oils were tested for ability to protect maize kernels. Essential oils of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon), Mentha piperita (peppermint), Ocimum basilicum (basil), Origanum vulgare (origanum), Teloxys ambrosioides (the flavoring herb epazote), Syzygium aromaticum (clove), and Thymus vulgaris (thyme) caused a total inhibition of fungal development on maize kernels. Thymol and o-methoxycinnamaldehyde significantly reduced maize grain contamination. The optimal dosage for protection of maize varied from 3 to 8%. Combinations of C. zeylanicum with the remaining oils gave efficient control. A residual effect of C. zeylanicum was detected after 4 weeks of kernel treatment. No phytotoxic effect on germination and corn growth was detected with any of these oils.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bióticos, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Apartado Postal 24, C.P. 62730, Yautepec, Morelos, México 2: Departamento de Botánica, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-233, C.P. 04510, México, D.F., México

Publication date: May 1, 1998

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