Essential oils for rust control on coffee plants
Rust is considered the most important disease in coffee because it causes severe defoliation in plants and, consequently, reduction in productivity. This study evaluated the in vitro effect of essential oils of cinnamon, citronella, lemongrass, clove, tea tree, thyme, neem and eucalyptus on the germination of urediniospores of Hemileia vastatrix; the effectiveness of these oils to control rust on seedlings of coffee cultivars Catucaí 2SL, Catuaí IAC 62 and Mundo Novo 379/19 in the greenhouse; and the effect of more promising oils on urediniospores of H. vastatrix by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). All the essential oils inhibited the germination of urediniospores with increasing concentrations. All oils promoted partial control of the disease in the greenhouse. However, the oils of thyme, clove and citronella, at a concentration of 1000 μL L-1, were most effective in controlling the disease on cultivars Catucaí 2SL, Catuaí IAC 62 and Mundo Novo 379/19, respectively. The images generated in TEM showed that urediniospores exposed to oils of clove, citronella and thyme promoted cellular disorganization and cytoplasmic vacuolization, which was more pronounced in urediniospores exposed to citronella oil. The oils of thyme, clove and citronella are promising for the control of rust in coffee.