Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

Committee Chair

Robert L. McFeeters

Committee Member

Hana McFeeters

Committee Member

William N. Setzer

Subject(s)

Essences and essential oils., Pathogenic fungi., Botrytis cinerea., Molds (Fungi), Antiviral agents.

Abstract

Despite the recent advances in antifungal development, fungi remain a highly destructive threat to human health and compromise food viability. Though chemical fungicides today provide the primary means of postharvest pathogenic fungal control, their continuous use is faced with two major complications - increasing concern regarding their bioaccumulation in the human system and increasing resistance among the pathogen populations. There is a need for alternative strategies for fungal control. Recently, the use of natural product plant extracts and essential oils for postharvest cure and protection is an increasing trend. In this study, antifungal properties of various Costa Rican, Australian, and South African plant-based natural products are presented. Antifungal activity is tested against three pathogenic fungi,Botrytis cinerea , Aspergillus niger and Rhizipus stolonifer, responsible for both agricultural and human afflictions. Studies using broth microdilution, disk diffusion and confocal microscopy have been performed. Multiple natural product extracts and essential oils were found to have MIC values less than 100 ppm, having the potential to replace synthetic antifungals. Confocal microscopy was used to better characterize inhibition. GC-MS analysis of Blue Mountain Sage oil, a potential biofugicide had δ-3-carene, limonene, (E)-caryophyllene, guiaol, α-bisabolol, manool as its main constituents. Also the carbohydrate binding protein, Scytovirin was shown to exhibit inhibitory effects against Botrytis cinerea.

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