Comparative efficacy of essential oils of three aromatic plants as alternatives in the control of Phytophthora spp., agent of cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao L.) black pod disease in Côte d'Ivoire
This study aimed at comparing the efficacy of essential oils from three aromatic plants species (Cymbopogon citratus, Eucalyptus citriodora and Ocimum gratissimum) in vitro and in vivo against two Phytophthora strains (Phytophthora palmivora and P. megakarya) in a view to developing new biofongicides for the control of cocoa tree black pod disease. Essential oils were applied at four different concentrations (0.5; 1; 3 and 5 mL/L) in vitro and in vivo on leaf discs of three cocoa clones (NA32, PA150 and SCA6) whichsusceptibility is known. As results, all three essential oils significantly (p˂ 0.05) reduced in vitro mycelial growth of both Phytophthora strains and also reduced the leaf susceptibility to these strains. Inhibition rates in vitro of Phytophthora strains mycelial growth ranged from 83.80 to 100% for the essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum species and from 17.7 to 100% for which of Eucalyptus citriodora species. In the biotests, the leaf susceptibility index of clone NA32 (susceptible) was reduced from 3.14 to 0.40. This correspond to reduction rates ranged from 64.87 to 86.70% of leaf susceptibility to both Phytophthora strains. Essential oils (HS and HO) from Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum species were most effective than which from
Eucalyptus citriodora species. However, all three essential oils revealed antifungal properties. Therefore, they could be recommended as biofungicides for a sustainable control of cocoa tree black pod disease in Côte d'Ivoire.
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