Plants in the genus Monarda produce complex essential oils that contain antifungal compounds. The objectives of this research were to identify selections of monarda that reduce Rhizoctonia damping-off of tomato, and to determine relationships between essential oil composition of 13 monarda herbages (dried and ground leaves) and disease suppression. Herbages were grouped into five chemotypes, based on essential oil composition and effective concentrations for reducing growth by 50% for Rhizoctonia solani. Replicated and repeated disease control assays were conducted with monarda herbages in greenhouse medium, with or without Rhizoctonia. Percent survival, seedling height, and stem diameter were evaluated at 8 weeks. Survival, seedling height, and stem diameter in herbage-only treatments were not different from the control (no-herbage, no-pathogen) for most herbage treatments. In the pathogen control (no-herbage + Rhizoctonia), seedling survival was 10% that of the control. In pathogen-infested media, seedling survival ranged from 65 to 80% for treatments with thymol chemotypes and 55 to 65% for carvacrol chemotypes. Effective control of Rhizoctonia damping-off was correlated with phenolic monoterpenes; herbages classified as carvacrol chemotypes effectively protected tomato seedlings from Rhizoctonia clamping-off disease without phytotoxicity. This study provides evidence that monarda herbages have potential as growing media amendments for control of Rhizoctonia damping-off disease.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ann_reed/6/