Members of the Fusarium genus are capable of contaminating agricultural commodities, compromising the quality of maize and other grains, which leads to severe quality and yield losses. Contamination with mycotoxins is also a concern. Essential oils are possible alternatives to the use of synthetic pesticides for control of fungal contamination, as many have antifungal and anti-mycotoxigenic properties and are innocuous to human health. They also do not cause any sort of microbial resistance and do not promote environmental pollution. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifungal and anti-mycotoxigenic effects of Zingiber officinale Roscoe essential oil (GEO) upon Fusarium graminearum Schwabe in vitro. The essential oil was extracted by hydrodistillation and analysed by GC/MS. Antifungal and anti-mycotoxigenic activities were assessed by HPLC/UV by quantifying ergosterol and deoxynivalenol (DON), respectively. Results indicated that GEO inhibited ergosterol production at a concentration of 1000 µg/mL and DON production at a concentration of 500 µg/mL, evidencing that the anti-mycotoxigenic effect is independent of the antifungal effect due to its probable direct action upon toxin biosynthesis.
Keywords: Deoxynivalenol; Fusarium graminearum; anti-mycotoxigenic activity; antifungal; ginger.