Evaluation of aqueous Moringa seed extract as a seed treatment biofungicide for groundnuts.
In a search for alternatives to currently used fungicides, the potential of aqueous Moringa seed extract (AMSE) as a seed treatment was evaluated. Seeds of groundnut, Arachis hypogea L cv Dakar, were soaked in AMSE at concentrations of 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 g litre-1 for 24 h. Comparison was made with Apron Plus (metalaxyl+carboxin+furathiocarb), until recently a recommended seed-treatment chemical, and distilled water, which was the medium for extraction of Moringa seeds. The results showed that AMSE has potential for use as a biofungicide on groundnut seeds, since all the concentrations used except 1 g litre-1 brought about significant reduction in the incidence of fungi on the seeds, such reduction increasing as the dosage of AMSE increased. There were no significant differences in control between the highest concentration of AMSE (20 g litre-1) and Apron Plus at the manufacturer's recommended level. Water also produced slight reductions in the incidence of fungi, although this was not significant at P=0.05. The sensitivity to AMSE of the fungi tested varied, Mucor sp. being the most sensitive and Aspergillus niger the least, with Rhizopus stolonifer and Aspergillus flavus intermediate.