Fungi colonizing dead leaves of herbs

Maria Kowalik


The material was collected from the Botanical Garden and the Collegium Medicum Medicinal Plant Garden of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The investigated species were: lemon balm (Mellisa officinalis L.), common lavender (Lavendula angustifolia Mill.), horsemint (Mentha longifolia L.), sage (Salvia officinalis L.), sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), and wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare L.). The aim of the investigation was to identify fungi causing the death of leaf tissues of herbs from the mint family Lamiaceae. In mycological investigations, 180 fragments of each plant leaves (1,080 dead leaf fragments in total) were placed in a 2% PDA medium. Over 970 colonies of fungi belonging to 48 species were isolated from the dead leaf tissues of the six herb species. Alternaria alternata (toxin-producing), Epicoccum nigrum and Sordaria fimicola were the most frequently isolated. The largest numbers of colonies and species of fungi were isolated from horsemint, while the lowest numbers were from wild marjoram leaves. It was shown that the death of leaves of selected herb species from the Lamiaceae family was caused by various fungi. The results of the mycological analysis confirmed the diversity of species colonizing the leaves of the herbs.


Lamiaceae; herbs; leaves; fungi; necroses

Full Text:



Adamska I. 2006. Choroby grzybowe ziół i ich sprawcy. Progress in Plant Protection / Postępy w Ochronie Roślin, 46 (2): 654–656. (in Polish)

Booth C. 1971. The Genus Fusarium. Commonwealth Mycological Institute, Kew, Surrey, England.

Chełkowski J. 2012. Mikotoksyny, grzyby toksynotwórcze i mikotoksykozy. On line, dostęp 2.10.2012. (in Polish)

Domsch K.H., Gams W., Anderson T.H. 1980. Compendium of Soil Fungi. Academic Press, London, New York, Toronto, Sydney, San Francisco.

Garibaldi A., Gullino L.M., Minuto G. 1997. Diseases of basil and their management. Plant Dis. 81(2): 124–131.

Ellis M.B, Ellis J.P. 1985. Microfungi on Land Plants. Croom Helm London, Sydney.

Frużyńska-Jóźwiak D., Andrzejak R. 2007. The incidence of diseases and pathogenic fungi on selected medicinal and spice plants in the area of Poznań. Phytopathol. Pol. 46: 47–51.

Index Fungorum. On line, dostęp 2.10. 2012.

Kirk P.M., Cann on P.F., Minter D.W., Stalpers J.A. 2008. Ainswort & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.

Kołodziej B. (red). 2010. Poradnik dla plantatora ziół, uprawa ziół. PWRiL, Poznań. (in Polish)

Łabanowski G., Orlikowski L., Skrzypczak C., Soika G., Wojdyła A. 2005. Ochrona bylin. Plantpress. (in Polish)

Machowicz-Stefaniak Z., Gabler J., Zalewska E. 2003. Patogeny zagrażające uprawie roślin zielarskich / Pathogens threaten the cultivation of herb plants. Folia Horticulturae, suplement 2003/1: 565–567. (in Polish)

Machowicz-Stefaniak Z., Zalewska E., Zimowska B. 2002. Fungi colonizing various organs of lemon balm (Mellisa officinalis L.) cultivated in South-East Poland. Proc. 6th Conf. EFPP 2002, Praguae. Plant Protect. Sci. 38: 353–356.

Machowicz-Stefaniak Z., Zalewska E. 2007. Bioróżnorodność grzybów występujących na nadziemnych organach kopru ogrodowego (Anethum graveolens L.) / Biodiversity of fungi occurring on above-ground parts of dill (Anethum graveolens L.). Progress in Plant Protection / Postępy w Ochronie Roślin, 47 (2): 182–185. (in Polish)

Mazur S., Szczeponek A. 2006. Zdrowotność bazylii (Ocimum basilicum L.) uprawianej w warunkach polowych / Healthiness of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicium L.) grown in field conditions. Folia Horticulturae, suplement 2: 16–20. (in Polish)

Zalewska E., Machowicz-Stefaniak Z. 2004. Patogeniczność grzybów z rodzaju Fusarium dla melisy lekarskiej / Pathogenicity of Fusarium spp. to lemon balm (Mellisa officinalis L.). Acta Sci. Pol. Hortorum Cultus, 3(2): 33–39. (in Polish)

Zimowska B. 2010. Diversity of fungi occurring on herbs from the Lamiaceae family. Phytopathol. 56: 5–15.


Journal ISSN:
  • 2300-357X (online)
  • 0065-0951 (print; ceased since 2016)
This is an Open Access journal, which distributes its content under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, provided that the content is properly cited.
The journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and aims to follow the COPE’s principles.
The journal publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
The journal content is indexed in Similarity Check, the Crossref initiative to prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism.
Polish Botanical Society