Authors: Amal Ahmed Elkhwaga; Abdelnaser A. Elzaawely; Ibrahim Draz; Abdelwahab A. Ismail; Hassan M. El-Zahaby
LEAF rust, caused by Puccinia triticina Eriks., is among the most common wheat rust diseases in Egypt causing major losses in the grain yield. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of water and 80%-methanol extracts prepared from seven different plants (henna, blue gum, acalypha, chinaberry, pomegranate, basil, and lantana) in controlling the leaf-rust disease of wheat. In an in vitro experiment, all methanol extracts inhibited the germination of the fungus spores by more than 98%, while water extracts were less effective. The methanol extracts of henna, lantana, acalypha, chinaberry, and pomegranate exhibited a 100%-inhibition of spore germination. In addition, no significant differences were recorded between the methanol extracts of these five plants and the synthetic fungicide Fungshou. In a filed experiment, wheat plants were one- and two-time sprayed with henna, lantana, acalypha, chinaberry, and pomegranate water or methanol extracts. The results revealed that all plant extracts not only decreased the disease severity of the leaf rust, but also enhanced the grain yield components including spike weight, the 1000-kernel weight, and the test weight. Furthermore, the two-time spray application was more effective than the one-time spray. Our study indicated that water and methanol extracts of henna, lantana, acalypha, chinaberry, and pomegranate might be utilized for the control of wheat leaf-rust disease as a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic fungicides.