Research Article: Catharanthus roseus: A Plant Source for Antifungal Activity Against Selected Plant Diseases 
Rozihawati Zahari, Mohd Farid Ahmad, Normala Halimoon, Norhayati Abdullah

It is important to search for an effective and environmentally safe compound in controlling fungal pathogens. In addition, the plant that is suitable to be used as a source of bio-pesticide should be able to propagate easily and free of diseases and pests. Thus, in vitro antifungal activity screenings of Catharanthus roseus stems extract against fungal pathogens of crops were studied. C. roseus is an important medicinal plant used in traditional and modern medicine. Even though C. roseus contains various antimicrobial compounds, the plant is not being used as bio-pesticide. Six pathogenic fungi : Colletotrichum gleoeosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, Ganoderma philippii, Phellinus noxius and Rigidoporus microporus were tested with different dichloromethane (DCM), acetone, ethanol, methanol and water extracts of C. roseus. Four different concentrations of extracts (5, 10, 15 and 20 mg/mL) were also tested. C. roseus DCM extract at 20 mg/mL showed the most effective activity against R. microporus and F. oxysporum with the inhibition zone diameters of 11.2 and 8.0 mm respectively. C. roseus is a bio-pesticide source that should be explored further.

Keywords: Catharantus roseus; Antifungal