Synthetic pesticides used in agriculture to control pathogens are being widely questioned for their harmful effects on human health and the environment. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the fungistatic activity of Lippia sidoides Cham. essential oil on alternative control of Curvularia lunata (Wakker), the causal agent of spot in maize plants. The fungitoxic contact effect was successful, resulting in a strong inhibition of C. lunata at the concentration of 50 mg mL−1. Complete adverse effect on the germination of the conidia of C. lunata was obtained at concentrations of 5 and 7.5 mg mL−1. In the preventive assay in maize plants, that is, effect of essential oil on C. lunata, a reduction in the progression of the disease was observed at the oil concentration of 7.5 mg mL−1. Regarding the curative effect in maize plants, no satisfactory result was obtained at concentrations from 0.625 to 7.5 mg mL−1. Cytotoxic test in animal cells was also performed by the viability test using MTT assay, which showed that none of the analyzed concentrations was toxic to the cells. These results demonstrate the potential effect of the essential oil of L. sidoides on the prevention and inhibition of mycelia and conidia germination, controlling the phytopathogenic fungus C. lunata.
Key words: Phytopathogenic fungus, effect preventive, effect curative, cytotoxicity.
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