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Asian J. Exp. Sci., Vol. 23, No.

3, 2009; 01-06

A Search For Alternatives To Control Phytopathogenic Fungi

Curvularia lunata
Varaprasad Bobbarala and K. Chandrasekhar Naidu
Department of Botany,
Andhra University,
Visakhapatnam (A.P.); India.

Abstract : The fungi toxic effect of various medicinal plants belonging to different families was
evaluated for antifungal activity in vitro on plant pathogenic fungi Curvularia lunata. The
hexane, chloroform and methanolic crude extractives of different parts of thirty medicinal plants
were screened for antifungal activity by well diffusion method. Only methanolic extracts exhibited
appreciable inhibition on C. lunata. Of the various plant extracts, the methanolic extracts of
Bridelia montana and Scoparia dulcis showed the highest antifungal activity against C. lunata
and recorded minimum inhibitory concentration below 50 mg/ml. The overall results provide
promising baseline information for the potential use of the crude extracts from medicinal plants
in the treatment of fungal diseases caused by C. lunata.
Key words : Antifungal activity; Medicinal plants; Curvularia lunata; Well diffusion method.

Introduction agricultural chemicals (Cardellina, 1988, Gulter,

Diseases of cultivated crops remain the 1988). Medicinal plants as a group comprise
major limitation to increased agricultural approximately 8000 species and account for
production. Therefore, protection of plants from around 50% of all the higher flowering plant
pathogens remains a primary concern of species of India. Over one and a half million
agricultural scientists. Despite serious practitioners of the Indian System of Medicine
environmental implications associated with the use medicinal plants in preventive, promotive
increased use, chemical fungicides remain the and curative applications. In recent years,
first line of defense against fungal pathogens. secondary plant metabolities (Phytochemicals),
Curvularia lunata is a facultative pathogen previously with unknown pharmacological
and may cause leaf spots and seedling blight. activities, have been extensively investigated
It is also seen on castor beans, cotton, rice, as a source of medicinal agents (Krisharaju et
barley, wheat and corn. Curvularia is a mold al, 2005). Plants have been formed the basis
which is associated with allergy in the literature of natural pesticides, that make excellent leads
and frequently reported in mold spore counts. for new pesticide development (Newman et
Chapman & Williams (1985) reported 7.3% al., 2000). The potential of higher plants as a
of the atopic patients being hypersensitive to source of new drugs is still largely unexplored.
Curvularia. Allergic broncho pulmonary Hence, last decade witnessed an increase in
disease caused by Curvularia has been the investigation on plants as a source of new
reported (Mc Aleer et al, 1981). biomolecules for human disease management
(Grierson and Afolayan, 1999). Traditionally
Natural plant products and their plants have been well exploited by man for the
analogues are an important source of new treatment of human diseases, Ayurveda is a
* Corresponding author : Varaprasad Bobbarala, Department of Botany, Andhra University,
Visakhapatnam (A.P.); India; E-mail :

Bobbarala V. and Naidu K.C. (2009) Asian J. Exp. Sci., 23(3), 01-06

good example, but not much information is collected plants were identified and
available on the exploitation of plant wealth authenticated by Professor M. Venkaih,
for the management of plant diseases, Department of Botany, Andhra University,
especially against phytopathogenic fungi. The Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Voucher
main objective of this study was to investigate specimens have been deposited at the
the inhibitory effects of different organic Herbarium of our department. The selected
solvent extracts from thirty plant species parts of different medicinal plants were cut
against Curvularia lunata and to evaluate the into small pieces and shade dried at room
potential application of medicinal plant based temperature for fifteen days, finely powdered
treatments to control Curvularia lunata. plant materials were successively extracted
Materials And Methods with organic solvents like hexane, chloroform
and methanol basing on order of their polarity
Plant material and preparation of the using soxhlet apparatus. The different extracts
extracts obtained were subsequently concentrated under
The plant materials of thirty different plant reduced pressure to get their corresponding
species (Table 1) were collected from residues. The extracts were screened for
Visakhapatnam district, Andhrapradesh. The antimicrobial activity using the method
described under the section.
Table 1: List of medicinal plants used in the antimicrobial assay
Plant Name Part Used Uses/Ailments Treated
Acacia farnesiana (L.) Bark, roots Astringent, Demulcent, Poultice, Stomachic.
Acalypha indica Linn Aerial parts Skin diseases, Ulcers Bronchitis, Head ache,
Snake bite
Adhatoda vasica Nees Leaves, whole plant Cough, chronic bronchitis, rheumatism, asthma
and asthma.
Andrographis paniculata Whole plant, leaves Anti-biotic, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and
Nees immune system stimulant.
Avicennia officinalis L Seed Relieving ulcers
Bridelia montana (Roxb.) Bark, Root Leaf Stomach pains, sore eyes and headaches.
Catharanthus roseus Linn Leaves and roots Anti-mitotic and Anti-microtubule agents

Centella asiatica Linn Whole Plant Diuretic, treatment of leprosy, use as brain
tonic and stimulates hair growth.
Cleome viscosa Linn Leaves and seeds Anthelmintic, carminative, diaphoretic and
Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) Roots Treat heart and lung diseases, intestinal spasms,
insomnia and convulsions. Antispasmodic.

Derris scandens (Roxb.) Stem Arthritis, Anti-inflammatory

Eichhornia crassipes Whole plant Biomass, soil reclamation

A Search for Alternatives to Control Phytopathogenic Fungi Curvularia lunata

( )
Emblica officinalis Gaertn Fruit Aperient, Carminative, Diuretic, Aphrodasiac,
Laxative, Astringent and Refrigerant.

Grevia arborea Linn leaves and roots Gonorrhea, catarrh of bladder, cough, cleaning
the ulcers, insanity, epilepsy, fevers,
indigestion, nerve tonic.
Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Leaves Antispasmodic,antirheumatic and antisoporific
Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Leaves and bark Insecticidal, cough, inflammation; skin diseases
Kurz and leprosy
Lantana camara Linn. Whole Plant Antidote to snake venam, Malaria, wounds cuts
ulcers, Eczema, Tumours
Murraya Koenigii (L.) Leaves Skin diseases, Heminthiasis, Hyperdipsia,
Spreng Pruritus, etc.
Ocimum sanctum Linn Leaves, Malaria, bronchitis, colds, fevers, absorption,
Seeds arthritis.
Peltophorum Whole plant Reclamation
pterocarpum (DC.)
Phyllanthus niruri L Leaves or herb Jaundice, Diabetes
Plumeria rubra Linn Leaves Ulcers, leprosy, inflammations, rubefacient.
Pongamia pinnata (L.) Bark, seeds Anti malaria , skin disease, rheumatic and
Pierre leprous sores
Salvadora persia, Linn Twigs, roots Antimicrobial and dental diseases
Scoparia dulcis Linn Leaves, bark, roots Used for upper respiratory problems,
congestion, menstrual disorders, fever, wounds
and hemorrhoids
Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Flowers Treat gonorrhea and for curing infection of the
Pers cornea.
Suaeda maritima (L.) Whole plant Bioremediation
Tridax procumbens Linn Whole plant Antimicrobial, Anti-oxidant and Anti-
Vitex pentaphyllal Linn Aerial parts Foetid discharges, Febrifuge Rheumatism
affections, catarrhal
Withania somnifera (L.) Leaves Sore eyes, Febrifuge, ulcers Cure sterility of
Dunal women sedative

Test microorganisms was filtered through sterile double layered

Curvularia lunata was isolated from the muslin cloth to remove bits of mycelia. Spore
leaves of sorghum. Conidia were isolated from suspension was then prepared in liquid potato
the 10 days old culture of the pathogens by dextrose (potato 200 g, dextrose 20 g and water
flooding culture plates with 5mL of sterile to make total volume of 1 L) to obtain a
distilled water and conidia were dislodged by concentration of 3 x 105 conidia/mL.
using L-shaped glass rod. Conidial suspension

Bobbarala V. and Naidu K.C. (2009) Asian J. Exp. Sci., 23(3), 01-06

Antimicrobial assays of 100mg/ml, 300mg/ml, and 500mg/ml and

The antifungal activity of the crude plant allow diffusing for 25° c for 48 hours. The
extracts was determined using the well diffusion plates were incubated at 37°c. A standard
method as described previously by Olurinola antifungal drug Bavistin (10mg/ml) included as
(1996). Twenty ml of potato dextrose agar was positive controls. Pure organic solvent was also
dispensed into sterile universal bottles, and then included as a control. The antimicrobial activity
inoculated with 0.2 ml of cultures mixed gently was assessed by measuring the diameter of
and poured into sterile petri dishes. Then three the inhibition zone formed around the well. The
to five uniform wells were punctured in potato average of three replicates for each extract
dextrose agar medium. Wells were filled with has been calculated.
50µl of the different extracts concentrations

Table 1: Antimicrobial activity of methanolic extracts on Curvularia lunata

A Search for Alternatives to Control Phytopathogenic Fungi Curvularia lunata

Table 3: MIC of Methanolic extracts on Curvularia lunata

Results And Discussion dulcis and B. montana exhibited the highest

In this study the results of the antifungal activity against C. lunata. The zones
investigations show that the two extracts from of inhibition of all the medicinal plants were
the bark of S. dulcis and B. montana possess increased with increased extract
antimicrobial activities against C. lunata at a concentration. Methanolic extract of H.
concentration below 50 mg/ml (Table 3). The sueolences and M. koenigii showed very less
two extracts compared favourably with the inhibition when compared with other plant
standard fungicide Bavistin . Both plant extracts extracts. All the medicinal plant methanolic
exhibited a broad spectrum of activity. Out of extracts exhibited antifungal activity against C.
the thirty plants tested, the solvents used for lunata (Table 2). Further work is required to
reconstitution of the extracts showed no isolate the bioactive constituents and test the
activity. Hexane and chloroform extracts were antifungal properties of these compounds, this
showing less activity when compared with may help to find the compound(s) responsible
methanolic extracts. Methanolic extracts for antifungal activity. Studies are in progress
showed superior activity on C. lunata (Table to further evaluate the mechanisms of action
2). Hence methanolic extracts data was of S. dulcis, and B. montana extracts on some
reported here. The methanolic extracts of S. phyto-pathogens associated with plant
Bobbarala V. and Naidu K.C. (2009) Asian J. Exp. Sci., 23(3), 01-06

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