Background: The microorganisms such as Penicillium expansum and Botrytis cinerea are wellknown
pathogens in apples during postharvest. So, to protect apples from these pathogens, chemical control
methods were exercised.
Introduction: The main objective of this work was to study the chemical composition and the in-vitro and
in-vivo antifungal properties of essential oil and hydrosol extract of Marrubium vulgare.
Methods: In this work, the air-dried aerial parts of Marrubium vulgare were hydrodistilled in a Clevengertype
apparatus. The essential oil and hydrosol extract isolated were analyzed using Gas Chromatography
(GC) and Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). The in-vitro antifungal activity of the both extracts was investigated
against Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium expansum and Alternaria alternata fungi using radial growth technique.
The effect of the essential oil and hydrosol extract on disease development of apple caused by Penicillium
expansum in the in-vivo conditions was assessed.
Results: The essential oil of Marrubium vulgare was characterized principally by E-β-caryophyllene
(23.5%), E-β-farnesene (21%), α-humulene (14.8%), β-bisabolene (11.1%), caryophyllene oxide (6.8%) and
phytol (3.1%). While, the methyl-eugenol (65.5%), α-Bisabolol (12.5%), linalool (6.5%) and caryophyllene
oxide (6.2%) were the major compounds of hydrosol extract. The result of in-vitro antifungal activity of
hydrosol extract showed an interesting antifungal inhibition against Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium expansum
and Alternaria alternata with percentage inhibition ranging from 77% to 89% at low concentration of 0.15
mL/L. The essential oil was found to inhibit the growth of Penicillium expansum in a dose-dependent manner,
with a percentage inhibition of 100% at 30 mL/L. Furthermore, essential oil and hydrosol extract have
demonstrated promising in-vivo antifungal activity to control infection of apples by Penicillium expansum
up to 25th day of storage, compared with the control.
Conclusion: The preventive and protective effects of essential oil and hydrosol extract could be exploited as an
ideal alternative to synthetic fungicides for using the protection of stored apples from fungal phytopathogens.