Application of Phytochemicals To Combat Fungal Pathogens of Pulses: An Approach toward Inhibition of Fungal Propagation and Invasin Activity
J Agric Food Chem. 2022 Jun 14. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c07729. Online ahead of print.
The present study represented an innovative strategy for inactivating the secreted invasins (lignocellulolytic enzymes) of fungal phytopathogens using natural phytochemicals to combat fungal infection to the pulses. A fungal pathogen (Aspergillus niger SKP1) was isolated from the white lentil (Vigna mungo), which has the ability to synthesize different lignocellulolytic enzymes. An in silico docking study elucidated that quercetin, naringin, epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin, and cinnamic acid were the prime efficient phytochemicals to inhibit the activity of fungal invasive enzymes like endoglucanase, endo-1,4-β-xylanase, and glucoamylase. Considering this observation, extracted phytochemicals in different mixtures were applied to prevent growth of the isolated pathogen under in situ experimental studies. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC50) and minimal fungicidal concentration (MFC50) values of the first mixture (naringenin, epicatechin gallate, and cinnamic acid) and second mixture (quercetin and curcumin) were 170 and 220 mg/L and 320 and 380 mg/L, respectively. The studied phytochemicals were established to be cytosafe when compared to the commercial fungicides. The seeds of the white lentil were subjected to 1 year of long-term storage with the two aforementioned combinatorial phytochemicals. Subsequent morphological and physiological analyses revealed the complete protection of the stored seeds from the fungal infection. The present work has enough potentiality for the storage of pulses using natural preservatives that circumvent the adverse effect of the chemical preservatives on the ecosystem.