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The tea plant, Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze is an important crop in the agriculturally based economy of Kenya. Many diseases affect the tea plant but the most prevalent is armillaria root rot caused by the fungus Armillaria mellea. Compounds from the fermentation of Trichoderma species in different media were bioassayed against some selected gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi including Armillaria mellea, a yeast and a Mucor. Compounds obtained from T. harzianum, and T. longibrachiatum when cultured in various media were investigated individually for in-vitro antifungal and antibacterial activities by agar diffusion technique. Some of the compounds produced definite antifungal and antibacterial activities. 2-Phenylethanol (1) and tyrosol (2) obtained from T. harzianum are reported for the first time from Trichoderma species. The most active metabolite isolated from these strains was 6-n-pentyl-α-pyrone (3), which showed the highest antifungal and antibacterial activity and completely inhibited the growth of Armillaria mellea fungus at a concentration of 200 ppm. Compound 4 (sorbicillin) exhibited moderate activity against the fungal test organisms.
KEY WORDS: Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma longibrachiatum, 2-Phenylethanol, Tyrosol, 6-n-Pentyl-•-pyrone, Armillaria Mellea
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2003, 17(2), 185-190.