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Variation in antifungal activity in extracts from Momordica plants

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Antifungal activity in aqueous and organic extracts from Momordica charantia and Momordica balsamina were evaluated against three pathogens: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis, Macrophomina phaseolina, and Alternaria solani. Cold-water extracts of 12 Momordica accessions exhibited various degrees of inhibition of the three pathogens: A. solani was more suppressed by the different extracts than F. oxysporum or M. phaseolina. Extracts from accessions 5 and 10 from M. balsamina were the most effective at inhibiting the tested fungi. Accession 10 exhibited the highest suppression level, more than 30% higher inhibition relative to the untreated control. Heating the cold extracts resulted in loss of antifungal activity in all cases. Hot ethanol extracts of the studied accessions exhibited a somewhat different pattern: F. oxysporum and M. phaseolina were strongly inhibited relative to A. solani. Interestingly, accession 10, which excelled in its inhibitory activity in the cold-water extract, was not effective when extracted in hot ethanol. Hot petroleum ether extracts inhibited F. oxysporum and A. solani, while M. phaseolina was not affected by any of the extracts. The variability in antifungal activity exhibited by the different Momordica extracts suggests that there are a variety of antifungal compounds with different characteristics and probably different modes of action.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Vegetable Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya'ar Research Center ; 2: Department of Vegetable Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya'ar Research Center, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel


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