Synergistic Field Crop Pest Management Properties of Plant-Derived Essential Oils in Combination with Synthetic Pesticides and Bioactive Molecules: A Review

Foods. 2021 Aug 27;10(9):2016. doi: 10.3390/foods10092016.


The management of insect pests and fungal diseases that cause damage to crops has become challenging due to the rise of pesticide and fungicide resistance. The recent developments in studies related to plant-derived essential oil products has led to the discovery of a range of phytochemicals with the potential to combat pesticide and fungicide resistance. This review paper summarizes and interprets the findings of experimental work based on plant-based essential oils in combination with existing pesticidal and fungicidal agents and novel bioactive natural and synthetic molecules against the insect pests and fungi responsible for the damage of crops. The insect mortality rate and fractional inhibitory concentration were used to evaluate the insecticidal and fungicidal activities of essential oil synergists against crop-associated pests. A number of studies have revealed that plant-derived essential oils are capable of enhancing the insect mortality rate and reducing the minimum inhibitory concentration of commercially available pesticides, fungicides and other bioactive molecules. Considering these facts, plant-derived essential oils represent a valuable and novel source of bioactive compounds with potent synergism to modulate crop-associated insect pests and phytopathogenic fungi.

Keywords: essential oils; fractional inhibitory concentration; fungicide resistance; insect mortality rate; insect pests; pesticide resistance; phytochemicals; phytopathogenic fungi; synergism.

Publication types

  • Review