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      Essential Oils as Potential Alternative Biocontrol Products against Plant Pathogens and Weeds: A Review


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          Naturally produced by aromatic plants, essential oils (EO) contain a wide range of volatile molecules, including mostly secondary metabolites, which possess several biological activities. Essential oils properties such as antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities are known for a long time and hence widely used in traditional medicines, cosmetics and food industries. However, despite their effects against many phytopathogenic fungi, oomycetes and bacteria as well as weeds, their use in agriculture remains surprisingly scarce. The purpose of the present review is to gather and discuss up-to-date biological activities of EO against weeds, plant pathogenic fungi, oomycetes and bacteria, reported in the scientific literature. Innovative methods, potentially valuable to improve the efficiency and reliability of EO, have been investigated. In particular, their use towards a more sustainable agriculture has been discussed, aiming at encouraging the use of alternative products to substitute synthetic pesticides to control weeds and plant diseases, without significantly affecting crop yields. An overview of the market and the recent advances on the regulation of these products as well as future challenges to promote their development and wider use in disease management programs is described. Because of several recent reviews on EO insecticidal properties, this topic is not covered in the present review.

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          Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils.

          In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the use of natural substances, and some questions concerning the safety of synthetic compounds have encouraged more detailed studies of plant resources. Essential oils, odorous and volatile products of plant secondary metabolism, have a wide application in folk medicine, food flavouring and preservation as well as in fragrance industries. The antimicrobial properties of essential oils have been known for many centuries. In recent years (1987-2001), a large number of essential oils and their constituents have been investigated for their antimicrobial properties against some bacteria and fungi in more than 500 reports. This paper reviews the classical methods commonly used for the evaluation of essential oils antibacterial and antifungal activities. The agar diffusion method (paper disc and well) and the dilution method (agar and liquid broth) as well as turbidimetric and impedimetric monitoring of microorganism growth in the presence of tested essential oils are described. Factors influencing the in vitro antimicrobial activity of essential oils and the mechanisms of essential oils action on microorganisms are reported. This paper gives an overview on the susceptibility of human and food-borne bacteria and fungi towards different essential oils and their constituents. Essential oils of spices and herbs (thyme, origanum, mint, cinnamon, salvia and clove) were found to possess the strongest antimicrobial properties among many tested.
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            Essential Oils as Ecofriendly Biopesticides? Challenges and Constraints.

            Recently, a growing number of plant essential oils (EOs) have been tested against a wide range of arthropod pests with promising results. EOs showed high effectiveness, multiple mechanisms of action, low toxicity on non-target vertebrates and potential for the use of byproducts as reducing and stabilizing agents for the synthesis of nanopesticides. However, the number of commercial biopesticides based on EOs remains low. We analyze the main strengths and weaknesses arising from the use of EO-based biopesticides. Key challenges for future research include: (i) development of efficient stabilization processes (e.g., microencapsulation); (ii) simplification of the complex and costly biopesticide authorization requirements; and (iii) optimization of plant growing conditions and extraction processes leading to EOs of homogeneous chemical composition.
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              Stability of Essential Oils: A Review


                Author and article information

                21 March 2020
                March 2020
                : 9
                : 3
                : 365
                Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant (UCEIV, UR 4492), Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, SFR Condorcet FR CNRS 3417, 50 rue Ferdinand Buisson, 62228 Calais cedex, France; raveau@ 123456univ-littoral.fr (R.R.); fontaine@ 123456univ-littoral.fr (J.F.)
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                [* ]Correspondence: lounes@ 123456univ-littoral.fr ; Tel.: +33-032-146-3658; Fax: +33-032-146-3642
                Author information
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 23 February 2020
                : 17 March 2020

                essential oils,biological properties,crop protection,sustainable agriculture


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