Essential oil of Achillea ligustica (Asteraceae) as an antifungal agent against phytopathogenic fungi.
The essential oil from the inflorescences of Ligurian yarrow (Achillea ligustica All., Asteraceae) naturalized in Central Italy was investigated in order to evaluate the antifungal activity against five phytopathogenic fungi. The composition of the essential oil characterized by GC-FID and GC-MS, revealed linalool (24.8%), viridiflorol (9.6%), β-pinene (6.4%), 1,8-cineole (5.8%) and terpinen-4-ol (5.3%) as the major constituents. The antifungal activity was evaluated by the in vitro disc agar diffusion test and Agar vapor assay on 5 microbial strains. The essential oil showed a good antifungal activity against all fungal strains, being a valid candidate in the fight against plant pathogens that harm many traditional crops. The possible incorporation of this essential oil into antifungal preparations with a low environmental impact is hypothesized.