Extract of Mimosa tenuiflora and Quercus robur as potential eco-friendly management tool against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Lactuca sativa enhancing the natural plant defences

  • Eugenio LlorensEmail author
  • María Mateu
  • Ana I González-Hernández
  • Carlos Agustí-Brisach
  • Pilar García-Agustín
  • Leonor Lapeña
  • Begonya Vicedo


The effectiveness of some plant extracts to protect crops against pests enhancing the natural defensive responses of the plant has been previously reported. Plant extract of Mimosa tenuiflora and Quercus robur has promising potential to reduce the incidence of a wide range of phytopathogenic fungi due to its antimicrobial compounds. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the effectiveness and the mode of action of this mix extract in Lactuca sativa against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. To achieve this objective, 4 weeks old lettuce plants of cv. Romana were treated with 2 cc l−1 of the plant extract either by soil drench or foliar applications 72 h before the inoculation. The treatments were able to significantly reduce the progression of the pathogen, decreasing the diameter of the infection by 32% and 17% in foliar and soil drench application, respectively. Moreover, the results showed significantly higher levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as well as callose deposition in plants treated and inoculated, compared with non-treated plants. However, no direct effect on the fungus growth was observed in vitro suggesting that foliar and soil drench treatments with M. tenuiflora and Q. robur extract significantly reduce the infection of S. sclerotiorum in leaves of lettuce, through the strengthening of the wall mediated by the deposition of callose and the release of H2O2. The fact that the treatment enhances different processes involved in plant innate defense may indicate that this treatment is acting as a resistant inducer, and could be effective against different microorganisms.


Lactuca sativa Natural extract Plant immune system Sclerotinia sclerotiorum 



This research was financially supported by the ‘Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial’ (IVACE) Ref. IFINOA/2014/46 and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (AGL2013-49023-C3-2-R). Ana I. González-Hernández is the holder of a fellowship by the “Programa de formació del personal investigador (PREDOC/2016/27)” and C. Agustí-Brisach is the holder of a ‘Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación’ postdoctoral fellowship from MINECO. The authors are grateful to the ‘Serveis Centrals d’Instrumentació Científica’ (SCIC) from ‘Universitat Jaume I’ (UJI, Castellón, Spain).

Compliance with ethical standards

Authors declared that this manuscript has not published elsewhere. All the authors have read very carefully and approved current version of this manuscript. All authors also declared that the data or images have not manipulated.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This research is focused on the mechanism of action of botanical extracts against a plant pathogenic fungus. This article does not contain any experiments with human participants or animals.

Informed consent

Please be informed that authors are satisfied to publish this work in European Journal of Plant Pathology.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugenio Llorens
    • 1
    Email author
  • María Mateu
    • 1
  • Ana I González-Hernández
    • 1
  • Carlos Agustí-Brisach
    • 2
  • Pilar García-Agustín
    • 1
  • Leonor Lapeña
    • 1
  • Begonya Vicedo
    • 1
  1. 1.Grupo de Bioquímica y Biotecnología, Departamento de Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio NaturalUniversitat Jaume I de CastellónCastellón de la PlanaSpain
  2. 2.Grupo Patología Agroforestal, Departamento de Agronomía, ETSIAMUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain

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