Pathogenic Fungi Transmitted Through Cucumber Seeds and Safely Elimination by Application of Peppermint Extract and Oil
Diseases induced by Fusarium, like damping-off and wilt on cucumber, are serious problems around the world. Samples of cucumber seeds were collected from commercial markets in Egypt and tested for seed-borne fungi. In order to detect the maximum number of internal and external seed-borne fungi, agar plate examination of disinfected and non-disinfected seeds were used. Two species of Fusarium were the most frequent and predominant fungi. Facultative parasites of the genera Alternaria, Rhizoctonia, Helminthosporium and Penicillium were also found. A total 33 isolates of Fusarium spp. were obtained using Komada’s selective medium. Fusarium oxysporum and F. solani were highly frequent. Pathogenicity test indicated that, F. oxysporum isolate (Fem8) was the main causal organism of pre- and post-emergence damping off. Furthermore, it occurred in all seed parts tested. Some infected seeds germinate, but they were either rapidly overgrown by F. oxysporum or they developed into a diseased seedling. The water extract of garlic, peppermint and rheum completely inhibited the conidiospore germination and mycelial growth of F. oxysporum at tested conc. 3, 2 and 3%, respectively. Soaked seeds in 2% peppermint extract and evaporated seeds by vapor of peppermint oil caused a highly reduction in the infection and reduced transmission of the referred fungi from seeds to the growing seedlings. The vigor of cucumber seedlings raised from the treated seeds was better than that developed from untreated ones.
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