In vitro antifungal activity of Ocimum selloi essential oil and methylchavicol against phytopathogenic fungi


  • Larissa Costa Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz
  • José Eduardo Pinto Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Suzan Kelly Bertolucci Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • João Cássia Costa Centro de Pesquisas do Cacau
  • Péricles Alves Universidade Federal de Sergipe
  • Edenilson Niculau Universidade Federal de Sergipe


Antifungal Activity, Methyl Chavicol, Moniliophthora perniciosa, Theobroma cacao


The efficacy of Ocimum selloi essential oil was evaluated for controlling the growth of mycelia and spores germination Moniliophthora perniciosa. Six compounds (99.89%) of the total oil were identified by GC-MS, of which methyl chavicol, methyl eugenol, β-caryophyllene, germacrene-D, bicyclogermacrene and spathulenol. Essential oil was tested for anti-fungal activity, which was determined by disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination methods. Application of the oil reduced mycelial growth in a dose dependent manner, with maximum inhibition being observed at concentration of 1,000 ppm. Such antifungal activity could be attributed to methyl chavicol since the pure compound was shown to be similarly effective against Moniliophthora perniciosa at 1,000 ppm. The oil when applied at a concentration of 1,000 ppm, reduced the spore germination of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and M. perniciosa by 93 and 87%, respectively, but had no effect on the Alternaria alternata. It is concluded that the oil from O. selloi and its major constituent, methyl chavicol, are efficient in inhibiting M. perniciosa, but less effective against C. gloeosporioides and A. alternata. The results obtained from this work may contribute to the development of alternative anti-fungal agents to protect the cacao crop from fungal disease.