Thyme essential oil fostering the efficacy of aqueous extract of licorice against fungal phytopathogens of Capsicum annuum L.

Himanshu Arora, Abhishek Sharma, Satyawati Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Capsicum annuum L. production is impeded by various biotic factors, including fungal diseases caused by Colletotrichum capsici, Pythium aphanidermatum, and Fusarium oxysporum. Various plant extracts and essential oils are increasingly used to control different plant diseases. In this study, licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) cold water extract (LAE) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) essential oil (TO) were found to be highly effective against the C. annuum pathogens. LAE at 200 mg ml−1 demonstrated the maximum antifungal activity of 89.9% against P. aphanidermatum, whereas TO at 0.25 mg ml−1 showed 100% inhibition of C. capsici. However, when used in combination, much lower doses of these plant protectants (100 mg ml−1 LAE and 0.125 mg ml−1 TO) exhibited a synergistic effect in controlling the fungal pathogens. Metabolite profiling using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and high resolution-liquid chromatography-mass spectrophotometry analysis showed the presence of several bioactive compounds. Enhanced cellular components leakage revealed damage to the fungal cell wall and membrane due to and LAE treatment, which can be attributed to the TO lipophilicity and triterpenoid saponins of LAE. TO and LAE treatments also caused a reduction in ergosterol biosynthesis might be due to the presence of thymol and sterol components in the botanicals. Although the aqueous extracts have a low preparation cost, their uses are limited by modest shelf life and lacklustre antifungal effect. We have shown that these limitations can be bypassed by combining oil (TO) with the aqueous extract (LAE). This study further opens the avenues for utilizing these botanicals against other fungal phytopathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan


  • Antifungal activity
  • Cell membrane disruption
  • Essential oil
  • Plant extract
  • Synergism


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