In Vitro Multiplication of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants and Fungicide Activity


Fernanda Leal, Manuela Matos, Ana Cláudia Coelho and Olinda Pinto-Carnide






Aromatic and medicinal plants, widely used as folk medicine are, beyond fruits, vegetables grains and spices, the principal source of antioxidant compounds. Several studies demonstrated that antioxidants have also antifungal activity (Jayashree & Subramanyam, 2000; Rasooli & Abyaneh, 2004). More and more, humanity try to replace synthetic metabolites by natural metabolites. Therefore, studies in aromatic and medicinal plants with the capacity to produce a different range of secondary metabolites extremely increase in late years. On the other hand, chemical products, like pesticides, fungicides or bactericides are widely used in agriculture. However, they have disadvantages to the environment, due to contamination of the soils, the final consumers or the producers. Still, the indiscriminate and recurrent use of synthetic fungicides has been found to induce resistance in several fungi, the residual toxicity of these compounds result in human health hazards and requires caution in their use for plant disease control (Singh et al., 2009). Thus, some aromatic and medicinal plants, with antifungal capacity (Soliman & Badeaa, 2002; Goun et al. 2003; Sucharita & Padma, 2010), like genus Thymus, Mentha, Calendula and Catharanthus were micropropagated for antifungal activity evaluation.