First Report on Post-harvest management of black mold of onion by eugenol
Keywords:black mold, eugenol, aspergillus, post harvest, volatile compounds
Black mold of onion caused by Aspergillus niger is a serious and prevalent postharvest disease of onion. This problem drastically reduces the quality and marketability of onion bulbs. Conventional fungicides employed to con-trol A. niger contamination posed negative impact on human health and en-vironment and highlighted the need to discover ecofriendly management practices. In the present study we attempted to explore the use of eugenol for the management of black mold of onion. Eugenol may exhibit differ-ences in antifungal activity in liquid state and in volatile phase. Hence, we developed and validated a new method, conical flask- paper cone method to study the antifungal activity of vapour phase disinfectants. This method was found to be precise, reproducible, sensitive and accurate with inter-assay R.S.D < 10%, intra-assay R.S.D <5% and R2>0.99. Conical flask- paper cone method was further utilized to determine the minimum inhibitory concen-tration of eugenol against A. niger. We observed that 0.03355 μl / cm3 eu-genol caused invitro and invivo inhibition of A. niger. Onion bulbs that were stored by eugenol fumigation, prior inoculated by A. niger, did not develop black mold symptoms and maintained high sensory acceptability. Microscop-ic observations revealed that eugenol fumigation resulted in inhibition of spore germination, coagulation of cytoplasm, formation of large vesicles and shrinkage of A. niger mycelium. In conclusion, our study showed for the first time that eugenol fumigation significantly controlled black mold incidence during storage and maintained post harvest quality and sensory acceptance. This study also introduced a new method for evaluating antifungal activity of volatile compounds.