BM- 608 - a novel organic product based on essential tea tree oil for the control of fungal diseases in tomato

M. Reuveni, D. Neifeld, D. Dayan, Y. Kotzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tea tree oil (TTO) is an essential oil steam distilled from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. TTO contains over 100 components, mostly monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and their alcohols. This natural essential oil is an effective antiseptic, fungicide and bactericide, and has many safe and effective uses in the health and cosmetics industry. Its use against plant pathogens has not been investigated. Recently, Biomor Israel Ltd., has developed a new organic formulation BM-608 containing 23.8% TTO, effective against broad spectrum of plant diseases in various crops, with no phytotoxicity to plant foliage. In greenhouse studies foliar sprays of BM-608 at 0.5- 1% inhibited late blight disease caused by Phytophthora infestans and suppressed powdery mildew colonies of Oidium neolycopersicum in tomato plants. In commercial greenhouses it controlled powdery mildews and was as good as or better than standard treatments in controlling O. neolycopersicum and Leveillula taurica. Foliar applications of 0.5% provided a longer lasting effect and were more effective in suppression both fungi, as expressed by disappearance or reduction of fungal colonies and sporulation. The TTO product is safe to beneficial insects and bees and can be used as replacement of sulfur and/or copper. It acts as a protectant against wide range of fungi by inhibiting spore germination, mycelial growth and sporulation and by suppression of mildewed tissue. The data in the present paper on control of various diseases as observed on field and greenhouse-grown plants, makes the TTO -based product an attractive compound for practical agronomic use against wide range of diseases in organic, IPM and conventional agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2009


  • Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Organic management
  • Plant disease control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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