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Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology


Antifungal activity of aqueous and organic extracts from Withania somnifera L. against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici

Ahlem Nefzi, Rania Aydi Ben Abdallah, Hayfa Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Sined Medimagh-Saidana, Rabiaa Haouala and Mejda Daami-Remadi

The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antifungal activity of aqueous and organic extracts from native Withania somnifera L. leaves, stems, and fruits against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL), the causal agent of Fusarium Crown and Root Rot disease in tomato. Aqueous and organic extracts (used at 1, 2, 3 and 4%) were added to molten Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) medium. After pathogen challenge, cultures were incubated at 25°C for 5 days. All extracts tested, whatever the concentrations used, showed a strong antifungal activity toward targeted pathogen. FORL response to the different extracts assessed using the poisoned food technique, varied depending on plant organs, concentrations tested and organic solvent used for extraction. For aqueous extracts, fruit extract used at 2% exhibited the highest antifungal potential where FORL growth was decreased by 56.27%, relative to the untreated control, compared to 52 and 45.34% achieved using stem and leaf extracts at 3%, respectively. The highest antifungal activity of organic extracts was registred at the highest concentration used (4%). FORL was found to be more sensitive to fruit extracts than those from leaves and stems. Among the three organic extracts tested, butanolic fractions were the most active against FORL growth. The highest antifungal potential expressed by 62.03% decrease in pathogen radial growth was displayed by butanolic stem extracts applied at 4%. These results indicate that native W. somnifera plants may be exploited as potential source of allelochemicals biologically active against FORL.