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The efficacy of thyme and savory essential oils were investigated against Botrytis cinerea on apple fruit. Apples treated with thyme and savory essential oils showed significantly lower gray mold severity and incidence. Thyme essential oil at 1% concentration showed the highest efficacy, with lower disease incidence and smaller lesion diameter. The expression of specific pathogenesis-related (PR) genes PR-8 and PR-5 was characterized in apple tissues in response to thyme oil application and B. cinerea inoculation. After 6 h of pathogen inoculation, thyme essential oil induced a 2.5-fold increase of PR-8 gene expression compared to inoculated fruits. After 24 h of inoculation, PR-8 was highly induced (7-fold) in both thyme oil-treated and untreated apples inoculated with B. cinerea. After 48 h of inoculation, PR-8 expression in thyme-treated and inoculated apples was 4- and 6-fold higher than in inoculated and water-treated apples. Neither thyme oil application nor B. cinerea inoculation markedly affected PR-5 expression. These results suggest that thyme oil induces resistance against B. cinerea through the priming of defense responses in apple fruit, and the PR-8 gene of apple may play a key role in the mechanism by which thyme essential oil effectively inhibits gray mold in apple fruit.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Foods (Basel, Switzerland)
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