Extracts from Six Native Plants of the Yucatán Peninsula Hinder Mycelial Growth of Fusarium equiseti and F. oxysporum, Pathogens of Capsicum chinense

Pathogens. 2020 Oct 10;9(10):827. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9100827.


Fusarium equiseti strain FCHE and Fusarium oxysporum strain FCHJ were isolated from the roots of wilting habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) seedlings with root rot. Toward developing a biorational control of these serious phytopathogenic strains, ethanolic (EE) and aqueous (AE) extracts of different vegetative parts of 40 tropical native plants of the Yucatán Peninsula were screened for antifungal activity. Extracts of six out of 40 assayed plants were effective, and the most inhibitory extracts were studied further. EEs from Mosannona depressa (bark from stems and roots), Parathesis cubana (roots), and Piper neesianum (leaves) inhibited mycelial growth of both strains. Each active EE was then partitioned between hexane and acetonitrile. The acetonitrile fraction from M. depressa stem bark (MDT-b) had the lowest minimum inhibitory concentration of 1000 µg/mL against both pathogens and moderate inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 462 against F. equiseti and 472 µg/mL against F. oxysporum. After 96 h treatment with EE from M. depressa stem bark, both strains had distorted hyphae and conidia and collapsed conidia in scanning electron micrographs. Liquid chromatography-ultraviolet-high resolution mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the major component of the fraction was α-asarone. Its antifungal effect was verified using a commercial standard, which had an IC50 of 236 µg/mL against F. equiseti and >500 µg/mL against F. oxysporum. Furthermore, the P. cubana hexane fraction and P. neesianum acetonitrile fraction had antifungal activity against both Fusarium pathogens. These compounds provide new options for biorational products to control phytopathogenic fungi.

Keywords: Mosannona depressa; antifungal; habanero pepper; phytopathogens; plant extracts; α-asarone.