Antifungal and antioxidant activities of mature leaves of Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC.

Abstract In recent years, natural products with antifungal and antioxidant activities are being increasingly researched for a more sustainable alternative to the chemicals currently used for the same purpose. The plant pathogenic fungus Alternaria alternata is a causative agent of diseases in citrus, leading to huge economic losses. Antioxidants are important for the production of medicines for various diseases that may be related to the presence of free radicals, such as cancer, and in the cosmetic industry as an anti-aging agent and the food industry as preservatives. This study evaluated the antifungal and antioxidant potential of extracts of mature leaves of Myrcia splendens, a tree species that occurs in the Brazilian Cerrado. The antioxidant potential was analyzed by an assay of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging method, and the antifungal activity was assessed through the evaluation of mycelial growth. Majority of the extracts exhibited a strong antioxidant activity, especially the acetonic extract (4A). The antioxidant activity may be related to the presence of phenolic compounds. However, the extracts showed no inhibitory activity of mycelial growth of the fungus tested, with the exception of dichloromethanic extract (2B), which had an inhibitory effect (10.2%) at the end of testing.