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Molecules 2018, 23(9), 2108; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23092108

Antifungal Activity of Essential Oil Compounds (Geraniol and Citral) and Inhibitory Mechanisms on Grain Pathogens (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus ochraceus)

1,†
,
1,†
,
2
and
1,*
1
College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Fuli Institute of Food Science, Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Agro-Food Processing, Key Laboratory for Agro-Products Postharvest Handling of Ministry of Agriculture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2
Key Laboratory of Fermentation Engineering (Ministry of Education), Hubei Provincial Cooperative Innovation Center of Industrial Fermentation, Hubei Key Laboratory of Industrial Microbiology, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Daniela Rigano and Adriana Basile
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils as Antimicrobial and Anti-infectious Agents)
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Abstract

The grain contamination by Aspergillus spp. has been a serious issue. This study exhibited the excellent antifungal effects of the essential oil compounds (EOCs) geraniol and citral against common grain pathogens (A. flavus and A. ochraceus) in vitro and in situ. The inhibitory mechanisms were also evaluated from the perspective of cell membrane permeability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and Aspergillus spp. growth-related gene expression. Meanwhile, the combined effects of EOCs in the vapor phase and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) were examined to find an alternative preservation method for controlling Aspergillus spp. The results indicated that citral exhibited the antifungal activity mainly by downregulating the sporulation- and growth-related genes for both pathogens. Geraniol displayed inhibitory effectiveness against A. flavus predominantly by inducing the intracellular ROS accumulation and showed toxicity against A. ochraceus principally by changing cell membrane permeability. Furthermore, the synthetic effects of EOCs and MAP (75% CO2 and 25% N2) induced better grain quality than the current commercial fumigant AlP. These findings reveal that EOCs have potential to be a novel grain preservative for further application. View Full-Text
Keywords: antifungal activity; geraniol; citral; Aspergillus; relative electric conductivity; reactive oxygen species; gene expression; modified atmosphere packaging antifungal activity; geraniol; citral; Aspergillus; relative electric conductivity; reactive oxygen species; gene expression; modified atmosphere packaging
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Tang, X.; Shao, Y.-L.; Tang, Y.-J.; Zhou, W.-W. Antifungal Activity of Essential Oil Compounds (Geraniol and Citral) and Inhibitory Mechanisms on Grain Pathogens (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus ochraceus). Molecules 2018, 23, 2108.

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