Penicillium digitatum and P. italicum are the two important postharvest pathogens in citrus, causing about 90% of the total loss of citrus fruit during storage and transportation. Natural fungicides such as essential oils have been widely used instead of chemical fungicides for preventing and controlling postharvest diseases. In this research, p-anisaldehyde exhibited a strong inhibitory effect on P. digitatum and P. italicum, with the minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum fungicidal concentration values of both being 2.00 μl/ ml. Additionally, p-anisaldehyde visibly inhibited both the green mold and blue mold development of citrus fruits inoculated with P. digitatum and P. italicum. The mycelia morphologies of these pathogens were greatly altered, and the membrane permeability and cell wall integrity of mycelia were severely disrupted under p-anisaldehyde treatment. These results suggest that the antifungal activity of p-anisaldehyde against P. digitatum and P. italicum can be attributed to the disruption of the cell wall integrity.
p-Anisaldehyde, antifungal activity, Penicillium digitatum, Penicillium italicum, inhibitory mechanism