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Abstract

Sclerotium rolfsii is a polyphagous soil borne fungus infecting more than 500 plant species across the world that is causing vast losses. Although the fungus is soil and seed borne, soil borne inoculum is most vital in infection-causing and syndrome development. Treating soil borne pathogens with fungicides is not reasonable due to very high costs. Environmental hazards are also involved. Therefore, integrated management of pathogens using biological controlling agents is the paramount alternative. Extracts of higher plants have demonstrated a wide range of activity against plant pathogenic organisms. The present research work was carried out to manage the pathogen and disease in vitro by using plant extracts. The antifungal activity of the methanolic leaf extract of two medicinally important indigenous plants, Alstonia scholaris and Azadirachta indica, against the fungal pathogen S. rolfsii was evaluated. In vitro antifungal bioassay was conducted against the S. rolfsii using different concentrations (0, 1, 2 and 5) of the methanolic leaf extract of A. scholaris and A. indica using malt extract (ME) broth as a culture medium. Different concentrations of A. indica leaf extract appreciably reduced the fungal biomass growth up to 76% as compared to the control. In the same manner, various concentrations of the leaf extract of A. scholaris significantly decreased fungal biomass up to 70% as compared to the control. Higher fungal growth was reduced by a 2% concentration of both plants. The present study concludes that the methanolic extract of A. indica has more active antifungal components and can be effectively used to manage phyto-pathogens.


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