Efficacy of some essential oils on seed mycoflora and seedling quality of some crop species saved by farmers.
The effects of essential oils from clove, cardamom, almond, cinnamon and Eucalyptus on the seed mycoflora and seedling quality of Italian millet (Setaria italica), wheat, cowpea, coriander (Coriandrum sativum) and palak (Spinacia oleracea) were studied. The seeds were treated with essential oils at 0.1% (w/w), allowed to remain at room temperature (28±2°C) for 5 minutes, incubated for 7 days and examined for the presence of mycoflora after incubation. Simultaneously, a portion of the treated seeds were sown in pots, and the pots were maintained under field conditions for 30 days. The incidence of Fusarium moniliforme [Gibberella moniliformis], Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium spp., Drechslera longirostrata, Stachybotrys spp. and Chaetomium spp. was significantly reduced by seed treatment with essential oils. Seed treatment completely eradicated F. solani in wheat and palak, and F. semitectum [F. pallidoroseum] in Italian millet. The essential oils reduced the incidence of Alternaria tenuissima in wheat and Trichothecium roseum in palak, with clove oil resulting in the complete inhibition of the latter. The essential oils, especially clove oil, stimulated seedling growth (seedling emergence, number of leaves, leaf size, root-shoot length, vigour and biomass) and reduced the incidence of seedling diseases. Cardamom oil resulted in enhanced germination and emergence in Italian millet and coriander.