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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 343804, 6 pages
Research Article

The Inhibitory Effects of Curcuma longa L. Essential Oil and Curcumin on Aspergillus flavus Link Growth and Morphology

1Department of Basic Health Sciences, State University of Maringa, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
2Department of Biochemistry, State University of Maringa, 87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil

Received 25 September 2013; Accepted 6 November 2013

Academic Editors: N. Dumais and Z. Shi

Copyright © 2013 Flávio Dias Ferreira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The essential oil from Curcuma longa L. was analysed by GC/MS. The major components of the oil were ar-turmerone (33.2%), α-turmerone (23.5%) and β-turmerone (22.7%). The antifungal activities of the oil were studied with regard to Aspergillus flavus growth inhibition and altered morphology, as preliminary studies indicated that the essential oil from C. longa inhibited Aspergillus flavus Link aflatoxin production. The concentration of essential oil in the culture media ranged from 0.01% to 5.0% v/v, and the concentration of curcumin was 0.01–0.5% v/v. The effects on sporulation, spore viability, and fungal morphology were determined. The essential oil exhibited stronger antifungal activity than curcumin on A. flavus. The essential oil reduced the fungal growth in a concentration-dependent manner. A. flavus growth rate was reduced by C. longa essential oil at 0.10%, and this inhibition effect was more efficient in concentrations above 0.50%. Germination and sporulation were 100% inhibited in 0.5% oil. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of A. flavus exposed to oil showed damage to hyphae membranes and conidiophores. Because the fungus is a plant pathogen and aflatoxin producer, C. longa essential oil may be used in the management of host plants.