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In vitro and in silico evaluation of antifungal activity of cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) essential oils for the control of anthracnose and crown-rot postharvest diseases of banana fruits

Seema A. Kulkarni, Periyar Selvam Sellamuthu, D. Priscilla Mercy Anitha, and Thirumurthy Madhavan

Department of Biotechnology, School of Bioengineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chengalpattu District, India



Received: 17 September 2020  Accepted: 17 November 2020

Abstract: Anthracnose and crown-rot postharvest diseases of banana fruit are responsible for major postharvest losses of the fruit. For natural control of these diseases, in vitro antifungal activity of cassia and holy basil essential oils was evaluated by disc volatilization method. Cassia essential oil at 6 μL per plate exhibited 100% growth inhibition of both the causative fungal pathogens, namely Colletotrichum musae and Lasiodiplodia theobromae. Holy basil essential oil was capable of completely inhibiting the growth of L. theobromae at 6 μL per plate, whereas it could inhibit C. musae up to 96% at 10 μL per plate. Molecular docking and conceptual DFT studies have been performed to ascertain the components of essential oils responsible for antifungal activity based on their binding affinities to chitin synthase protein and chemical behaviour. Components, such as eugenol, cinnamyl acetate, caryophyllene, humulene and trans-calamenene, may most likely be responsible for high activity of the tested essential oils as per the in silico results.

Keywords: Banana; Postharvest diseases; Molecular docking; Conceptual DFT; Antifungal

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01434-5


Chemical Papers 75 (5) 2043–2057 (2021)

Monday, June 17, 2024

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